Skip to content

Harris tries out 2024 messaging ahead of events with advocates

Vice president was seemingly everywhere as Biden was in Europe

Vice President Kamala Harris had a full week of events.
Vice President Kamala Harris had a full week of events. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

NEW YORK — Vice President Kamala Harris has been workshopping some new material for the 2024 campaign trail.

The vice president was fundraising Thursday at the Upper East Side home of longtime Democratic donor Charles Myers, who told attendees his support for Harris went all the way back to her time as district attorney in San Francisco — and included her own ill-fated 2020 presidential bid.

“I’ve been thinking about it in the context of before and after. So let’s do that for a minute,” Harris said. “Before, so jobs were going overseas, factories were closing. After we got elected, we … have, as an accomplishment, created over 800,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States.”

She rattled off other policy developments that she and President Joe Biden will surely seek to tout as the presidential campaign season heats up, including progress on semiconductors and prescription drug prices.

The intimate audience at the fully subscribed fundraiser for the Biden Victory Fund was beyond friendly. Myers said in introducing Harris, “I also will say I will be very proud to be the first one to sign up for Harris for President 2028.” That made his residence a good place to try out some lines that could reappear in more formal remarks in a larger campaign venue.

Harris told the audience she knew they all remembered where they had been when the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ended the federal abortion rights protections of Roe v. Wade. She also noted that in places where abortion has been on the ballot across the country since then, abortion rights advocates have prevailed.

“We rise to these moments of challenge, and that’s what we will continue to do. So that is why at this, I would say, early stage, we are gearing up, because we know what we have to do. We know we have to start early. We know we have to remind each other that we’re all in this together, and we know what is at stake. And we know what we are fighting for: fundamental, foundational principles that make us proud to be Americans,” she said.

With Biden in Europe for most of the week, including attending the NATO Summit in Lithuania, the vice president took the lead on several domestic policy announcements, including one with advocates on accessibility issues in transportation on Tuesday at the White House with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“This issue of transportation is fundamentally about just making sure that people have the ability to get where they need to go. It’s that basic,” Harris said Tuesday. “But we know the obstacles to that goal can be great.” She cited the specific challenge of airplane restrooms that are not accessible.

On Wednesday, Harris led a roundtable on artificial intelligence, stressing the importance of both civil rights and consumer protections.

“It is a false choice to suggest that we either can advance innovation or we protect consumers,” she said at that event.

She was set to be in Baltimore on Friday afternoon to launch a new national clean investment fund and an accelerator program, elements of the budget reconciliation law Democrats enacted in 2022.

“These funds will serve as a force multiplier for private investment in clean energy projects to cut emissions and promote environmental justice in underserved communities across the country,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said in a statement ahead of the announcement. “This is a win for workers, our economy, and our fight to confront the climate crisis.”

The Friday announcement will include $20 billion in capital to get the national clean finance network going, according to a White House official.

The vice president’s office announced other upcoming engagements with supporters and advocates across the country. That includes traveling to Chicago at least three times in the next month, starting with the Rainbow Push Coalition’s convention this weekend, and continuing with the UnidosUS convention on July 24 and Everytown for Gun Safety’s Gun Sense University in early August.

“Moms Demand Action volunteers went all in to elect the Biden-Harris Administration and are thrilled to chart the next 10 years of activism with gun sense champions like Vice President Harris by our side,” Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of the gun safety advocacy group Moms Demand Action, said in a statement.

Harris’ travel for both official and campaign purposes is often easier to schedule on weekends and when the Senate is not in session because the narrowly divided Senate often requires her attendance to perform the constitutional duty of breaking ties. On Wednesday, she cast a tie-breaking vote for the 31st time, tying a record Vice President John C. Calhoun set during the terms of Presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.

Recent Stories

Eight questions for elections in five states on Tuesday

Paul Pelosi attacker sentenced to 30 years in prison

House Over-slight Committee — Congressional Hits and Misses

Biden kicks off outreach to Black voters as protest threat looms at Morehouse

Editor’s Note: Stock market no panacea for Biden, Democrats

Photos of the week ending May 17, 2024