What to Do as a Failing Leader: Kamala Harris

By | December 13, 2021

[December 13, 2021]  A measure of a good leader is not their popularity or their intelligence, but their ability to convince others to achieve important goals and to get things accomplished (get ‘er done).  Over the past year, there has been a growing consensus that Vice President Kamala Harris has failed to live up to the hype about her abilities and character.  The real question now is what to do as a failing leader.

Peggy Noonan (not a fan of mine) wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week that does a good job of laying out Harris’ problems and what can be done about it.  As some will remember, Noonan energetically endorsed Harris in a fawning piece that drew considerable attention and criticism.

The reason I’m writing this article is not to draw attention to VP Harris’ leadership skills but to discuss what action can be taken when you’re failing as a leader.  Noonan does an about-face on Harris, and despite my consistent disagreement with Noonan, I support her recommendations.

“President Biden’s poll numbers are bad, and Vice President Kamala Harris’s are worse. A survey this week from conservative-leaning Rasmussen had her at 39% favorable, 57% unfavorable. The number that stuck in the public’s mind came last month, from a USAToday/Suffolk poll that put her approval at 28%, disapproval at 51%.” – Peggy Noonan

This information is startling given nearly round-the-clock “good news” on Kamala Harris coming from the news media.  Americans are waking up to the failures of Harris, and they are quickly losing confidence in her.

“Expectations are low. Ms. Harris can use the time of her deadness to focus on why she’s failing. Those who know her doubt she is capable of deep change, and a reset would have to deal not with surface matters but those more fundamental.” – Peggy Noonan

Now, Noonan offers Harris some much-needed advice:

“She could lend what skills she has to the public presentation of the administration’s stands. Mr. Biden isn’t strong there; he’s uneven in his attempts to explain and advance policy thinking.

 To do this Ms. Harris would have to decide to become serious—to inform and immerse herself, meet with party thinkers, study her briefing books. Her current strategy, to the extent it exists, appears to rely on her sense of her own personal charisma—delighted laughter, attempts to connect personally, to convey zest.

She should speak instead with sincerity and depth. She shouldn’t confuse Happy Warrior with Hungry Operative.

Ms. Harris has never seemed especially earnest. This would be a good time for earnestness.” – Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan has VP Kamala Harris pegged as a failed Vice President and considers this dangerous for the country.  Yep, some commonsense might finally be filtering into the news media, but I doubt it.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

26 thoughts on “What to Do as a Failing Leader: Kamala Harris

  1. Rev. Michael Cain

    There is one official that has a worse approval rating than VP Harris and that is Gen. Mark Milley! Unofficial polls say Gen. Milley has a 98% disapproval rating (9k+ responded).

    1. Oakie from OK

      Subhead: “VP slams ‘ridiculous’ investigation into Parisian pot scandal.”

  2. Fred Weber

    Shameful. This is what happens when you are promoted and adored based on physical traits such as the color of your skin or gender. You get someone who is a victim and who wears it like another skin and becomes, in this case, her every breath.

  3. Max Foster

    Gen. Satterfield, this is a useful way of getting across the message that to be a leader, you must possess certain characteristics. Please set aside some point to list those. A good example is your article that compares Biden vs Trump. One of your more popular posts. This look is exactly why I keep coming back to your website. I’m a bit surprised you are not more popular.

  4. Bryan Z. Lee

    “She should speak instead with sincerity and depth. She shouldn’t confuse Happy Warrior with Hungry Operative.
    Ms. Harris has never seemed especially earnest. This would be a good time for earnestness.” – Peggy Noonan
    Ouch, this is a powerful put down on VP Harris. Sincerity and depth, yep, but that will never happen because doesn’t have that ability.

    1. KenFBrown

      True but people can change and for the better. The problem here is that she is one step away from the most powerful position in the world that being a success means understanding the world and Kamala Harris does not understand the world, what the US should have as it’s priorities, or how to solve really hard problems. She is a figurehead.

      1. Commie Red

        We don’t have that problem in “non-Capitalist” nations like China and Russia and N. Korea. Our leaders are born to lead. Born to be the best. Born as a sainted patron of leadership. Nothing else matters except the state.

        1. docwatson44

          Ignore Commie Red, he is a troll that loves tyranny because he wants to be one of the elites who benefit. Like Bernie Sanders owning three homes and telling the rest of us to be content with some food scrapes handed out at the food pantry.

  5. Anya B.

    Enjoyed your article on Kamala Harris. I don’t like her because she is so grating on the mind.

  6. Yusaf from Texas

    Excellent article that points to what to do when you’re underwater in polling. Maybe, just maybe it’s your fault. Message to politicians, there is a message here that you actually have to be a good leader to people or you will fail on your own stupidity.

    1. Laughing Monkey

      This is what happens when you are promoted and told you are the best person in the world simply because you are a woman and a “person of color.” You begin to think it’s true. Well, yo momma was wrong.

      1. Georgie B.

        Great comments on Gen. Satterfield’s leadership forum today! Loving it. Too bad our politicians — regardless of gender or race or anything — don’t get the fact that merit counts. Everything else is secondary.

      2. Eric Coda

        Most of us figure that out when we get to High School. Usually HS is where we are abashed of what our parents taught us in that we are the best of the best.

  7. Purse 5

    I like the idea of Gen. Satterfield using well-known people that we know about today as examples of how to fail and what to do if you are failing. Please continue doing so. It allows us to address our prejudices and assumptions (all of which are often wrong or misplaced). Doing something about it is the real test of a leader.

    1. José Luis Rodriguez

      Good points Purse 5 (weird name but unique). I like your comment.

  8. Autistic Techie

    VP Harris is a great example of a woman who slept her way to the top (read that as had sex with powerful politicians, not her husband). And, now she claiming her low poll ratings are due to her sex. Come on, man!

    1. Janna Faulkner

      Yep, you gotta hand it to Kamala. Failure is never her fault, just her staff (who are jumping ship fast) or the racist, sexist country of America. Hahahahahah.

    2. JT Patterson

      Yes, Autistic Technie, Kamala is a study in how to fail and yet not recognize that it just might be your own fault. Anyone watching her in the presidential debates figured that out fast. But not those who are enamored by the PC ideology of the left.

        1. Erleldech

          You got that right DPG. I don’t like K Harris and I don’t know anyone who does that has actually listened to her talk. Just look at what she does during interviews (which are rare). She flubs it up almost as much as Joe Biden (dementia patient #1).

    3. McStompie

      Good ideas here AT. Well written and to the point. Every single liberal I talk to about her lack of moral character explains her ‘affairs’ as the ‘only way a woman can make it in our sexist world.’ Crazy logic.


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