Kamala Harris is notorious for not being able to keep staff over the years because of her allegedly ruthless treatment.
Over a dozen current and former staffers of Harris spoke with The Washington Post, with those criticizing her leadership saying working for her can mean enduring “a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism.”
Her chief of staff Symone Sanders has been an ardent supporter and defender. But, there she goes. Symone Sanders is out and looking for new work. She said she deserves to take a break and isn’t unhappy.
Communications chief Ashley Etienne and two other staffers are also leaving. They’re not unhappy either. They’re all happy but they’re out of there amid a flurry of rumors of chaos and mismanagement.
Same Old Destructive Patterns
“One of the things we’ve said in our little text groups among each other is what is the common denominator through all this and it’s her,” said Gil Duran, a former Democratic strategist, and aide to Harris who quit after five months working for her in 2013. In a recent column, he said she’s repeating “the same old destructive patterns.”
“Who are the next talented people you’re going to bring in and burn through and then have (them) pretend they’re retiring for positive reasons,” he told The Post.
She Seems a Bit Lazy
Staffers who worked for Harris before she was vice president said one consistent problem was that Harris would refuse to wade into briefing materials prepared by staff members, then berate employees when she appeared unprepared.
“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” one former staffer said. “With Kamala, you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”
In May, The Atlantic did a piece on her saying that she keeps a reporters enemies list and nitpicks on every word they use to describe her.
A Politico report in July said that Kamala’s office environment is toxic and people are “treated like s-t.” Workers said Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy has created “blame culture.”
It’s not unusual for bosses to have a lot of people complain about them but when Kamala became VP, she had few longtime staff who came with her, and that is unusual.
The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.
In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue…
…“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said another person with direct knowledge of how Harris’ office is run. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”
Naturally, Democrats see her as a presidential candidate.