Controversy Explodes: Kamala Harris Named First Potential DEI President

Ben Von Klemperer /
Ben Von Klemperer /

Top Democrats are saying that Vice President Kamala Harris would be President Joe Biden’s natural successor if he succumbed to growing pressure and stepped aside as the Democratic candidate in the 2024 election. These top Democrats argue that Harris is causing concern among Republican donors, has strong name recognition, and is beginning to garner support from party heavyweights.

However, Democrats and leftists found themselves in an uproar following New York Post columnist Charles Gasparino’s characterization of Vice President Kamala Harris as the prospective “DEI president.” The acronym “DEI,” shorthand for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, encapsulates progressive ideals advocating for the integration of minorities across societal domains such as employment and education.

Gasparino’s column ignited controversy by suggesting that Harris, often critiqued as emblematic of DEI initiatives, could ascend to the presidency amid mounting concerns over President Joe Biden’s health and political viability. “America may soon be subjected to the country’s first DEI president: Kamala Harris,” Gasparino wrote, alluding to her perceived role as a symbol of diversity rather than qualifications alone.

He pointed out that even if Biden persists as the Democratic nominee, Harris could become the nation’s de facto DEI president. This speculation underscored the uncertainty surrounding Biden’s ability to effectively challenge Donald Trump in a future electoral rematch.

Gasparino’s commentary triggered swift backlash from the left, with detractors condemning his remarks as racially charged. California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is speculated as a potential successor to Biden, denounced the article as “straight-up racist,” echoing sentiments expressed by Democratic Representative Ritchie Torres of New York. Torres criticized the right-wing reinterpretation of DEI as a pejorative term aimed at disparaging people of color, labeling such insinuations as deeply offensive and racially insensitive.

The debate over Harris’s merit and the implications of her selection as Biden’s running mate in 2020 has long simmered. Biden acknowledged considering multiple Black women for the role, prompting questions about whether racial considerations factored into his decision-making process. During a November 2023 interview with The New York Times, Harris was confronted with inquiries about the narrative surrounding her selection. She responded with a mix of nervous laughter and a straightforward acknowledgment that Biden had chosen her as his running mate, but she seemed to sidestep how race may have influenced that decision.

As Biden confronts mounting pressure to step down amid concerns about his electability and health, Democrats face a complex political calculus. Harris is unpopular. Unlike other potential candidates, she has already introduced herself to the American people, and they have not rallied behind her. Harris’s standing within the party and viability as a potential presidential nominee come into question, particularly amid indications that alternative candidates, potentially white males like Newsom or white females like Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, could emerge as more politically palatable choices.

Gasparino’s characterization of Harris as a prospective DEI president has illuminated deep-seated tensions within the Democratic Party regarding race, representation, and political strategy. One that potentially put an unqualified woman in the White Houe based on her skin color and an idea drummed up by the far left.

The Biden administration has done little to improve public perception or bolster Harris’s position. Sure, she embarked on a national abortion rights tour—partly because the president struggles to address the one winning issue Democrats have—but it lacked substance and received minimal media coverage. Over the past four years, Biden’s team could have focused on transforming Harris into a recognizable, trusted, and influential leader. Instead, they sidelined her, leading to the prevailing narrative of her vice presidency: “Where’s Kamala?” This mistake could have a significant impact on the 2024 election, one that will help Trump resecure the role of president.