Vice President Kamala Harris is looking to up the ante when it comes to her and President Joe Biden’s brand, the New York Times reported.
Harris wants to reignite the fire that people had for the duo, which got them elected in 2020, and earn votes for their desired re-election in 2024. The VP, however, has faced issues along the way.
“Ms. Harris has for years been saddled by criticism of her performance as vice president,” the Times reported. “She has struggled with difficult assignments. … Concerns about her future spread as Democrats pondered whether she would be a political liability for the ticket.”
She hopes to combat naysayers with purposeful talks around the nation winning people back.
“It’s good to have her out there,” Cedric Richmond, a Democratic National Committee senior advisor, said.
Why it matters: Harris is trying to inspire others to rethink what they thought they knew about her and aging Biden in efforts to revamp her personal and political brand ahead of 2024.
“In interviews, aides and advisers acknowledge that Ms. Harris has been affected by the years of criticism,” the Times said. “She has often approached events defensively, focusing on not making mistakes, rather than looking for opportunities to attack.”
Harris’s move to be on the offensive shows she is working overtime to strategically win back the hearts of her and Biden’s constituents, especially with the somewhat dismal approval rating numbers.
Collective PAC Co-Founder Stefanie Brown James told the Times that she has pushed to have Harris’s staff put her out publicly to address hot-button issues because she has not done enough.
Harris, over the last two-and-a-half years, was “a little too much in the background and not seen enough or heard enough.”
“She definitely is having a moment,” James told Times. She hopes it is “a sustainable moment.”
Harris must boost her image as an ideal VP contender alongside Biden as she works to turn others’ hearts around and help win them the election again.
Harris’ concerted efforts to turn things around could inspire brands facing image issues to reconnect with their base. A brand could find out what its stakeholders want from them and be open to change. While companies can’t please everyone, striving to reconnect to an audience in new ways authentically could be a valuable start.
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Sherri Kolade is a writer at Ragan Communications. When she is not with her family, she enjoys watching Alfred Hitchcock-style films, reading and building an authentically curated life that includes more than occasionally finding something deliciously fried. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR story idea? Email her at [email protected].