[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.
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