As damaging coverage of Vice President Kamala Harris begins to flood in—and even Democrats question whether she is the best fit in the line of presidential succession—the Los Angeles Times sought to rehab the beleaguered San Francisco radical by rushing to defend her laugh.
“She’s just a person who tries to find joy and happiness in everything,” claimed former chief-of-staff Nathan Barankin, according to the LA Times.
Among the negative reports Harris has endured recently are nagging accusations that she would be a shirker-in-chief (following high-profile rifts with President Joe Biden), and allegations that she has created a “toxic” work environment for her staff.
But with 78-year-old Biden’s mental acuity growing dimmer by the day, Harris’s leftist backers see both the opportunity and the urgent need to get in front of the branding issue.
“If it weren’t her laugh, it’d be her smile or the way she dressed,” claimed Arisha Hatch, a leader of the race-hustling activist group Color of Change. “It is just another conversation that demonstrates how difficult it is to be a woman-of-color leader in this country.”
And conservatives of color, such as Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, echo similar concerns about the viciousness with which some have attacked them for their melanin levels, even using racial epithets such as “Uncle Tom.”
Yet, Harris’s image problems—despite facing a mostly sympathetic media—are largely self-wrought.
The former California prosecutor and senator built her stock and trade on being a scowling, stone-faced antagonizer of any hapless congressional witnesses who deviated from leftist dogma, including then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and then-Attorney General William Barr.
After seeing that the humorless persona didn’t play well in public, even among her own party’s presidential primary-goers, she reinvented herself in late 2019 as a kinder, gentler, more empathetic brand of ball-buster, purposefully using the tagline “joyful warrior.”
Campaign insiders openly acknowledged at the time that it was a politically calculated pivot. However, Democrat operatives and their media allies have since tried to rewrite the narrative, claiming Republicans are to blame for Harris’s perceived lack of authenticity.
Indeed, her insincere—and oftentimes inappropriate—cackling has been a source of intense scrutiny and speculation among conservative-leaning pundits.
During a segment with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, correspondent Jesse Watters wryly broke down the ways in which Harris’s bemused response appeared to be something of a defense mechanism when she was confronted with any sort of adversity or unexpected interrogation.
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“This is a sign of discomfort,” Watters said.
“When she’s presented with a topic or a question where she’s unsure or uncomfortable, she resorts to cackling,” he continued. “In our industry, we refer to this as a defense mechanism.”
Even those close to her have acknowledged that the laughing comes off as bizarre at times.
“I’m not saying every time you see or hear the laugh it’s the appropriate moment,” Barankin said. “It’s not like someone just told a joke.”
But following Harris’s attempt to dodge a question about the border crisis during a June interview with ABC’s Lester Holt, the LA Times, citing leftist propaganda outlet Media Matters as its source, claimed that “[c]onservative media went into overdrive over Harris’ ‘cackle’ or ‘giggle,’ mentioning it at least 151 times.”
Cringe. Kamala Harris doesn’t get it.
Holt: “Do you have any plans to visit the border?”
Harris: “We’ve been to the border. We’ve been the border.”
Holt: “YOU haven’t been to the border.”
Harris: “…..and I haven’t been to Europe. I don’t understand the point you’re making.” pic.twitter.com/fFXMf8X0b6
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) June 8, 2021
After trying to humanize Harris’s dismissive response as a sort of nervous tic, the Times gave its final word on the subject to Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for Hillary Clinton‘s failed 2016 campaign, who noted the link between the two domineering-yet-disingenuous Democrats.
While sniping at former President George W. Bush for his perceived “smirk,” Palmieri stopped short of denying that both women—Harris and Clinton—also came off as phony and detached due to their demeanor.
Yet, the problem, she insisted, wasn’t the candidates themselves. Rather, it was the systemic sexism of the voters who rejected them for it.
“For Harris, it’s like ‘We don’t like the sound of her laugh. We don’t like when she
laughs,’” Palmieri claimed. “These things define women in a way, and linger for women leaders in a way that they don’t for men.”