She’s Hillary 2.0.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ very bad week amid revelations of a toxic office culture is giving some Dems troublesome flashbacks to Hillary Clinton — with some in her party worried she won’t be able to beat any GOP candidate in the future.
“She would have a hard time beating anybody, as we saw the last time she ran. And I think we run the risk of a 2016 redo,” a Democratic Capitol Hill insider told The Post, recalling Clinton’s presidential race defeat to Donald Trump, who played up his status as a Beltway outsider.
“We have an heir apparent who is anointed that people don’t like and if you challenge her you are dismissed as standing in the way of history when there are some real legitimate concerns,” the insider continued.
Clinton, the former senator and secretary of state was much adored by party grandees, but a bruising primary with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that year put her at odds with much of the party’s activist base. Though Biden avenged the party in 2020 and Democrats took back control of Congress, Clinton’s loss has haunted liberal strategists ever since.
The concerns come as Harris is closing out what is almost certainly her worst week in office, buffeted by nasty reports of a toxic work environment for her staff.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment. It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s–t.” one insider told Politico.
A similar disarray plagued Harris’ own 2020 presidential campaign which ended in fiasco, with the candidate dropping out before the Iowa caucuses. Harris state operations director Kelly Mehlenbacher bolted in Nov. 2019 with a blistering resignation letter.
“This is my third presidential campaign,” Mehlenbacher wrote at the time, “and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly … With less than 90 days until Iowa we still do not have a real plan to win.”
Harris dropped out of the race a month later.
Her short vice presidency has also been marred by the ongoing crisis at the southern border, a problem she has been tasked to address, but for which there has so far been little progress. For months, Harris refused to visit the border, earning the ire of conservative critics.
At 78, Biden is the oldest person ever elected to a first term in American history and questions about his mental health have dogged his short tenure.
Many top DC insiders — and even some senior administration officials — believe Harris would lose a 2024 contest to whoever the GOP chooses — including Trump, Axios reported.
“‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f***ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f***ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent,’” a Dem operative told Axios.
Harris, through a spokeswoman, brushed off the criticism.
“The Vice President and her office are focused on the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda to build an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down. To making sure racial equity is at the core of everything the administration does, to combatting the existential threat of climate change, and to continue protecting the American people from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Sabrina Singh.
Republicans, meanwhile, are salivating.
Luke Twombly, 27, communications director for the Texas GOP and a rising star in the Lone Star State, said he would be “thrilled” to see Harris be the 2024 standard bearer.
“The woman couldn’t even get elected in a Democratic primary in her own state or Iowa. If she ran nationally I imagine the voters would reject her too,” Twombly said. “I think almost any Republican we have would beat her. I think Trump would shellack her.”