News Outlets Attack Harris

By Mario

Bored major news outlets have decided that Vice President Kamala Harris and her Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy are being rude to major Democratic political donors. Reporters are decrying that big buck D.C. insiders do not have politely delivered all-access passes to Kamala Harris's office.

Ironically Mike Pence received soft glove media treatment, as he was enabling what was probably the most corrupt and transactional presidency in the United States history.

If you believe the news stories, Kamala Harris's Chief of Staff is committing the crime of being too blunt. Reportedly, when major donors want to speak with the Vice President, her Chief of Staff may return the call with the opening question, "what do you want from the Vice President of the United States." I think that is a good opening question and one not uncommon in any normal White House apparatus.

At the beginning of Bill Clinton's presidency, a much younger me was provided the opportunity to have been regarded as a key supporter of the new president.

I was so excited at the prospect of what I might be able to do to help the communities that I had championed that I pulled together a conference call with several mentors to advise me on dealing with a White House.

The information that I was given on the call was valuable and proved accurate. The group of colleagues told me that any White House was a high-pressure, fast-paced institution. Any White House had to run the most influential government on the planet while dealing with all the political realities of getting reelected.

My sages told me that whenever I spoke on the phone to the White House, I needed to be prepared that the initial conversations might last no more than one or two minutes. Therefore I needed to be prepared and directly ask for exactly what I was seeking. One of my mentors, who was a highly successful D.C. health advisor, told me that there is no time for small talk on an initial White House call. "You need to be prepared to say what you are looking for and the potential benefits it would deliver in the first minute and then listen carefully to the tone and substance of the response in the second." The rest of the group I assembled reconfirmed her directions.

The first time I connected with the White House, I heard the voice of a person I knew had Bill Clinton's ear on a daily basis. I stumbled. I was 31 years old and grew up way outside of any such experience. I was brought up to be polite as a show of respect to anybody in any way situation. So I began my side of the conversation by asking the White House appointee how her day was going and how she was enjoying Washington D.C. The response was blunt "I need to hear what you need. If you're not ready, you can call me back." Click. I remember this experience so clearly. On the second call, I was curt, direct, and effective.

I am not sure how the reporters who are currently hounding the VP's office have missed the valuable lesson I learned at the age of 31. I have to speculate that perhaps they're shocked that an African-American female Chief of Staff understands that one of her many responsibilities is to protect her boss's time.

But perhaps my analysis is too harsh. Maybe the reporters just no longer recognized a normal White House team. Maybe the extended honeymoon initially given to Mike Pence and his current media rehabilitation has distorted their view of how high-pressure high-level honest transactions are conducted. But perhaps there is something unusual about Harris's office that has distorted their vision. What could that possibly be?


Mario Wire