Mark Figley: Our ‘Where’s Waldo’ vice president

By Mark Figley - Guest Columnist

The “Where’s Waldo” book series debuted in 1987 with the featured character traveling around the world through time to faraway magical lands. The books also featured numerous illustrated spreads of Waldo’s various locations where, amidst the crowded scenes, his character was enmeshed. Readers in turn were tasked with locating the lost traveler.

Like Waldo, vice-president Kamala Harris is also hard to find. After being assigned by Joe Biden to take charge of the U.S. southern border on March 24, she finally got around to visiting El Paso, Texas, on June 25. Never mind that El Paso is a mere 800 miles away from the Rio Grande Valley, the focal point of illegal border crossings into the U.S. from Mexico, and the place where Donald Trump accompanied Texas Governor Greg Abbott to five days later.

Other than dutifully shadowing a decrepit commander-in-chief at public appearances, what had Harris been doing for three months as the border crisis ramped up? And just what has she accomplished overall in her vice presidential role up to this point?

Harris, who received not one vote for president, dropped out of the Democrat race before the primaries had even commenced. Yet she is first in line for the world’s most powerful office despite doing anything to distinguish herself; though she is the first VP to officially give us her faceless personal image on a cookie.

During the campaign, Harris was the darling of feminists after proclaiming that she believed Joe Biden’s sexual abuse accusers, yet somehow that wasn’t enough for her to decline his invitation to join the ticket. And since that time, she hasn’t even whispered the words “Me-Too.”

Now, rumor has it that members of her team are reportedly experiencing low morale and problems in communicating with top staffers. Politico went so far as to describe the atmosphere as “tense” and full of mistrust.

These issues were apparently even present during Harris’ recent trip to the border. Some of her aides, as well as administration officials, were “left scrambling” over details of the El Paso visit. One unnamed source called Harris’ office abusive, unhealthy and unsupportive, “where people feel treated like s - - -.”

Others familiar with the situation blame Harris chief of staff Tina Flournoy for effectively shutting out some Harris supporters from contacting her regarding both personal and political matters. Meanwhile, amidst all the mayhem, Harris is making it too easy for Republican lawmakers to scrutinize her lackluster efforts regarding border instability and anything else she is a part of.

Then again, the vice president hasn’t helped herself in any meaningful fashion; kissing her husband in public while both were masked even though they have both been vaccinated against the coronavirus, and emitting a giddy, teen-aged laugh whenever confronted with a serious policy question. In the end, such displays do little to inspire confidence in her ability to help lead a nation forward in a dangerous and unpredictable world.

Some will say that the role a vice president plays is quite minimal in the success of any administration; however, 15 presidents previously served as vice president. The image, competence and level of character they displayed undoubtedly helped to shape them for what was later to come their way.

In the case of VP Harris, she remains a disingenuous, divisive and extremely polarizing figure. And though it is likely just a matter of time before she replaces a president who can’t even read cheat sheets, one thing is certain. Harris can be expected to be just as radical, if not more so, than Uncle Joe.

By Mark Figley

Guest Columnist

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.

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