Clyburn was asked during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press whether he saw Harris in a longterm leadership position.
“I see her as a part of that future. Absolutely,” the former House whip replied.
“I look to her as a successor to this president, but I also know the history of that as well,” he added. “It’s not a given—you don’t automatically move up. She’ll have to compete going forward with whoever may have dreams and aspirations, and I think she will acquit herself well.”
The South Carolina Democrat has stuck up for Harris in the past, including after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declined to endorse Harris as the best vice presidential pick for President Joe Biden heading into 2024.
“I think that Kamala Harris has done a great job,” he said at the time in response to Pelosi’s snub. “People want her in her first term, first two years, to be the kind of vice president that Joe Biden was in the sixth and seventh year of his vice presidency.”
However, Clyburn admitted there have been serious “learning curves” for Harris.
“You aren’t born a United States congressman. You aren’t born a vice president. You’ve got to learn the job,” he claimed. “She got elected, she has learned the job. She is doing the job efficiently and effectively.”
Several other Democratic leaders have stepped forward to publicly defend Harris, suggesting party leadership is worried about Harris’s unpopularity.
“She’s a first,” Clinton said. “I mean, she’s the first woman. She’s the first woman of color. She’s the first daughter of immigrants. I mean, you can go on down the list. “