While the White House tackles domestic crises stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice President Kamala Harris is looking beyond U.S. boundaries to develop her policy portfolio. Harris aides have declined to detail her top domestic areas of responsibility, but two top White House officials told CBS News she has a minimum of two broad priorities that she plans to form her major specialise in the international stage.
The officials said Harris has her own particular interests, additionally to the administration's top agenda items. She plans to form her top two priorities cybersecurity and technology, and global health. Those on the brink of Harris say both interests come, in part, from her days as California's junior senator and her experience as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris not only took office amid a deadly pandemic but also began their administration during a serious cybersecurity breach. Intelligence and White House officials are pinning the SolarWinds hack Russia.
The president has vowed that his top international priority is reassuring allies that the U.S. stands with them. Already, Harris has been an integral a part of this effort. She has held calls with world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Her first call with a world leader was with World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, after the Biden administration reversed the last administration's U.S. withdrawal from the organization. Harris features a number of other calls with world leaders lined up, too, the officials said, but didn't specify which of them .
"You can't do all of the opposite problems with interest without partners, which is that the theme of this administration," a top White House official said. "Global health, cyber security, China, climate, the regional issues: you cannot do them unless you've got strong partners. and that i think that is the way the vice chairman is brooding about it and why she's putting a priority on doing her part to repair those ties."
Those on the brink of Harris say she's also shown a deep interest in and knowledge of technologies handling 5G and broadband access, which isn't surprising in light of her Northern California origins. Some global health issues that especially resonate with Harris, additionally to addressing the pandemic, are maternal health, children's health and food and water insecurity.
When he was vice chairman , Mr. Biden came into the work with decades of policy experience, having served as a longtime member and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. President Obama assigned several regions and territories to Mr. Biden, including Iraq. Aides to Harris say she has not received a selected region to oversee yet, since the administration's top concern is controlling the pandemic.
"Over time, with every president and vice chairman , relationships evolve and priorities emerge. then i think that which will likely occur," a White House aide said, adding, "right now, we've these priority agenda items that are working across the board. and therefore the first one is rebuilding our alliances."
Neither Harris nor the president are scheduled to form any foreign trips during the primary six months of the administration.What does Harris bring back the table especially with a president with this much policy experience? Sources on the brink of Harris and experts say her recent history within the Senate are going to be pivotal, especially her experience on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"The Senate Intelligence Committee has earned a reputation for being one among the foremost serious and bipartisan on Capitol Hill . We do most of our work quietly, and behind closed doors, then-Senator Harris was no exception thereto rule," Chairman Mark Warner, an in depth friend of Harris, told CBS News during a statement.
"She impressed both Democrats and Republicans alike together with her sharp questioning, specialise in national security, and a spotlight to detail, and she or he was ready to work productively with Republicans on critical, politically fraught issues like election security," Warner said. "Her four years on the Committee definitely provide her with a classy and thoughtful understanding of the foremost pressing policy and national security issues facing this country immediately , and that i expect the country will see that clearly over subsequent four."
Almost a day , Harris sits within the Oval Office with the president to receive the President's Daily Brief. Lindsay Gorman, a Fellow for Emerging Technologies at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, says that Harris' service on the Senate Intelligence Committee offers a "perspective at the intersection of technology and national security at a time when these two areas are critically entwined."
"Technology is at the guts of geopolitical competition with China and global authoritarianism," Gorman said. "Whoever succeeds in building the technologies of the longer term will write the principles for his or her use. which has very significant national security and policy implications during a way that wasn't clear 10 years ago."
Jon Alterman, senior vice chairman of the middle for Strategic & International Studies, believes that Harris' fresh approach to policy can help add a replacement perspective to balance Mr. Biden's decades of experience.
"Part of both the challenge and therefore the opportunity is that the president features a lot of the apparent bases covered," Alterman said. "But there's also a way that the old ways of doing things won't service also as they have to and that we need to do things in several ways."
Though the president has been in office for almost a month, many in Washington are already looking ahead to 2024, worried about who could head a Democratic ticket if Mr. Biden, who would be 82 years old, were to make a decision to not run again. Some see Mr. Biden's approach of including Harris in aspects of policy as how of mentoring her for the very best office within the land.
"The president goes to essentially open up opportunities or stop avenues for the vice chairman to either gain or wield power in terms of how the president perceives that person," said Dr. Lara Brown, director and professor at The Washington University grad school of Political Management. "It's very clear to me that President Biden doesn't see vice chairman Harris as a competitor and instead is watching how he can both delegate to her and mentor her into both a far off policy role and a senior executive role."
The task for Harris are going to be pointing to an accomplishment on the international stage if she's to become the face of the Democratic Party in upcoming elections.A former Democratic Senate aide noted, "To win an election for president, she's getting to need to demonstrate — if not skill, then a minimum of a high level of confidence within the national security field — which is partly about getting stuff done, and it's partly about not making mistakes."
News Source CBS News
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