Will Kamala Step In It Again?

Only eight days after she was inaugurated as vice president, Kamala Harris stepped in it, big time. She went to West Virginia to tout Joe Biden’s economic plans, but did not give a head’s up to the state’s top (only) Democrat. Senator Joe Manchin was not happy, and let everyone know.

It was a rookie mistake that Biden would have never made. Harris only spent two years in the Senate, and apparently that wasn’t long enough for her to learn how to count votes. Any political neophyte could have told her that with the Senate evenly divided the Democrats could not afford to offend any of their own, especially someone from a solidly Republican state. Unsurprisingly, Manchin’s power in the Senate has only grown since that incident.

Now Biden is sending her into the border/refugee morass. An problem with no easy solutions but plenty of fodder for the press and easy photo ops for the Republicans. Turning down the heat on Biden will be a real test of Harris’ political skill.

There are plenty of cow paddies along the border. Will Harris manage to spend time there without stepping in one?

Chao Down, Mitch Too?

Mitch McConnell has bee justly labeled a hard hitting politician, but he has pretty much escaped accusations of major corruption. His wife has not. How much this affects him remains to be seen.

McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao went to work for Donald Trump as his Transportation Secretary. Like many on Team Trump, she is accused of using her position for personal gain. Trump’s Justice Department took a look at this during his last days in office and, not surprisingly, decided not to get involved.

The issue is now before Congress. McConnell is in a tough spot. On the one hand, he wants to defend his wife. On the other hand, if the evidence against her is clear and powerful, he will be seen as condoning the Trump administration’s swampy ethics.It would also be quite embarrassing politically.

Will the Democrats gain any leverage against McConnell due to this? Probably not – he’s a craftier politician than they are. His wife will lay low, though. You can probably say ciao to Chao for a while.

Abbott Rolls The Dice

Texas Governor Greg Abbott was in hot soup over his state’s freezeup meltdown. So he did what any politician would do: change the subject.

Abbott announced the end of covid restrictions in his state. All business open 100%. No masks necessary. His hope was that freeing Texans to let the good times roll would deflect them from talking about how badly their government screwed up the power system.

It should work, at least in the short term. Another covid surge in Texas will take a few weeks to materialize, and in the meanwhile people will flock to churches, bars and restaurants (not necessarily in that order) and forget about the power issues.

But chances of another surge are good. When Abbott gave his order, Texas had one of the lowest vaccine rates in the US. It was also in the middle of a small surge in cases from the low point in late February.

If Texas sees a big surge and is one of the only states to roll out the portable morgues again, it could reflect poorly on Abbott. His opponents in both political parties could benefit.

Rolling snake eyes could come back to bite him.