Latest on the list of staffers swarming the exit of the Vice President’s office is none other than Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy. Ms. Flournoy, not a warm and fuzzy kind of gal, led the Harris team through a turbulent if not historic moment in politics, fielding the tasks given to the vice president that seemed insurmountable. After serving 15-months in a widely rumored toxic and abusive environment, the final straw that could break the Kamala’s back, has fallen.
The Vice President released a statement – indubitably penned by Flournoy for clarity — “Tina has been a valued advisor and confidant to me and tremendous leader for the office.” One might wonder if the Harris staff lacks an editor. But I digress.
Lorraine Voles, a senior advisor to Harris, will step into Flournoy’s sensible shoes. Voles is a throwback to the good old days of the Democratic Party when she served as former communications director to Vice President Al Gore and Hillary Clinton.
Flournoy is just one – granted, the highest profile – of the Harris aides to charge through the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) to freedom. So far, Tina makes it an even dozen senior-level folks on the run from this administration. And that begs the question: is it Kamala or possibly an entire failed Biden Bunch that has prompted brilliant political operatives to search for a lifeboat on the Titanic-sized sinking of their careers? Maybe, it’s the cackle. But out of all the people in the administration former staffers complained about, only one still stands out; the VP.
The vice president has had a turbulent 15 months in office. In the first high-profile role for her president, as appointed border czar, she simply avoided the border. Instead, the VP jetted to Guatemala to visit the “root cause” of the problem and give lip. And more recently, explaining the war in Eastern Europe, in a moment of downright ignorance, she said, “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine, so, basically, that’s wrong.”
Upon escaping the administration, freed staffers have complained that the Harris environment is caustic from the top down. It is gossiped among those treading the corridors of the West Wing that Harris refuses to review research on the topics she has been assigned. Like many before her, she may have fallen prey to believing her own activist media reports of her prowess at being the second in line to the Oval. Those characteristics are why an operative as strategically adept as Tina Flournoy would walk away from being the chief of staff to, potentially, the eventual first female president.
Unless Flournoy is calculating the odds of Harris still being in the building.
It’s All About the Legacy
It may be uncommon for a president or vice president to step down from power, but it has happened, and for good reason. In recent history, the 39th Vice President, Spiro Agnew, resigned in 1973 for taking kickbacks in an earlier political career. Interestingly, his resignation had nothing to do with the Watergate affair, the event that brought President Nixon down. In Nixon’s case, he knew he had lost his party’s support and did not want to face a lengthy impeachment trial.
For the good of the order, after losing staff, support, and colleagues, Nixon stated: “By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”
Likewise, Agnew didn’t want folks to remember him as a criminal. So, is America at the most pivotal point in the effort to unite the electorate? And has the Biden administration paid enough attention to the failures of their first woman vice president. Flournoy has not said much about why she was walking away – and that silence nearly screams a confirmation that Harris may well be short on time left in her lofty position.