Two weekend reports shed light on feuds within the Biden political and national security operations.
Two news reports this weekend illuminated feuds between top officials in the Biden administration political and national security teams.
- NBC News published a story alleging Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Jaime Harrison is considering resigning before the midterms.
- The White House’s political operation, led by former Biden campaign chief Jen O’Malley Dillon, has largely usurped Harrison’s authority.
- The DNC Chair would typically have a large fundraising, strategy, operational and media role in a midterm election year.
- Harrison “rendered himself nearly irrelevant” by sitting at home in Columbia, SC citing COVID concerns instead of crisscrossing the country or working out of DNC HQ.
- Meanwhile, Axios reported on a “Situation Room confrontation” between National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
- Tai lambasted Sullivan for leaking damaging information about her in the middle of a meeting. Other Cabinet members were reportedly “stunned” by the confrontation.
- Situation Room encounters rarely leak like this – especially between two top national security and trade officials.
- The Washington Post brings readers inside the pressure campaign to force Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire.
- The New York Times reports on Republicans’ optimism that Biden’s struggles will deliver them both houses of Congress.
- CNN reports on a contretemps that has gotten less attention than the Biden White House rivalries. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice ended his State of the State address by urging Bette Midler to kiss his dog’s “hiney” after she made derogatory remarks about his state.
- National Review covered a new poll that found 76 percent(!) of Americans disagree with Biden’s pledge to put a black woman on the Supreme Court and would rather he “consider all possible nominees.”
- The New York Post reports that House Democrats fear the midterm elections will be a “wipeout” for their party.
- Feuds aren’t limited to the Democrats, of course. Fox News asserts that former president Donald Trump and ex-vice president Mike Pence are no longer on speaking terms.
After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, John F. Kennedy famously said, “victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.” Amid Biden’s cratering poll numbers and a looming Democratic midterm wipeout, its clear many top Democrats are determined not to be the proverbial orphan.
The Harrison-O’Malley Dillon feud and the Tai-Sullivan confrontation are just the latest stories of Democratic dissension to make the press. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Vice President Kamala Harris and Chief of Staff Ron Klain have each been the subject of critical stories in recent weeks.
White House feuds are nothing new. Former Bush 43 official Tevi Troy literally wrote an entire book on the long history of White House staff rivalries. However, Joe Biden specifically promised a “no drama” White House after four years of unusually public staff tumult under Donald Trump. New boss, same as the old boss.
© Dominic Moore, 2022