Updated: November 16, 2020 7:40:23 am
At a classy cafe in the West End neighborhood of Washington, a younger waiter knew that the incoming vice chairman lived “upstairs,” as he famous by gesturing to an upscale condominium constructing overhead, however stated he had not really seen her these days.
“The Secret Service sometimes stops me from taking out the trash, though,” he added, saying that brokers closed off the constructing’s alley when their protectee got here and went from its storage.
Around the nook, two black Suburbans with federal license plates have been parked by the constructing’s entrance — the one seen clue to the close by presence of the California senator and vice president-elect, Kamala Harris.
In the times since he prevailed in the election, President-elect Joe Biden has made a number of public remarks and launched summaries of his calls with overseas leaders as reporters monitor his each public motion. But Harris has barely appeared on the general public radar since her acceptance speech final Saturday in Wilmington, Delaware, the place she declared “a new day for America.”
She shared a stage once more with Biden in Wilmington two days later, after a coronavirus briefing that they had attended collectively. Harris stood silently a number of ft away whereas Biden spoke, with out giving remarks of her personal.
It shouldn’t be unprecedented for a vice president-elect to maintain a low profile in an election’s aftermath. “You know, you’ve been fairly invisible since the election,” ABC News host George Stephanopoulos instructed Biden in an interview greater than a month after his personal election as Barack Obama’s vice chairman.
Biden replied by insisting he had “been in the room” for each one of Obama’s essential transition conferences. Because of social distancing restrictions associated to the coronavirus, Harris has no such luxurious, at the very least not in the bodily sense.
After spending election week in Delaware, she has returned to the two-bedroom Washington condominium she purchased after she was elected to the Senate in 2016. From there, she is in common contact with Biden, by textual content message or phone, in line with aides with the Biden-Harris transition staff, and with different transition officers. Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, additionally has an in depth relationship with the incoming first woman, Jill Biden; the 2 campaigned collectively in the race’s remaining weeks.
One focus of her time is the quantum leap Harris is quickly to make from the legislative to the manager department. Whereas Biden could have just about no studying curve upon returning to the White House after eight years as vice chairman, Harris has spent little, if any, substantive time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (A transition official couldn’t instantly say when she had final visited there.)
That course of is made no simpler by President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the election outcomes and authorize an official transition course of in which Harris and her aides would have entry to White House officers and paperwork. Harris has not been contacted by her departing counterpart, Vice President Mike Pence. Days after the 2016 election, Biden hosted Pence for practically two hours on the official vice presidential compound on the U.S. Naval Observatory. “I told Mike, the vice president-elect, that I’m available to him 24/7,” Biden instructed reporters.
Biden-Harris transition officers declined to remark.
For now, Harris stays a senator. It is unclear when she may relinquish her seat. Obama stepped down from his Senate seat days after his 2008 election, however Biden, ever the sentimentalist, held on to his till shortly earlier than he was sworn in as vice chairman the next January, telling pals he needed to take one final oath of workplace for the seat he had held for many years. (Biden additionally stated he needed to retain his vote in case it may be wanted in a lame-duck Senate session.)
Like Biden, Harris additionally has her personal workers to construct — one other process doubtlessly made more difficult by her relative lack of Washington expertise. While Biden, after practically 50 years in the capital, has a community of a whole lot of former Senate and White House aides, Harris has a smaller circle, although she is anticipated to rent a number of acquainted faces from her Senate workplace and her 2020 marketing campaign.
On social media, Harris has stayed rigorously on message, posting on Twitter a number of instances in regards to the coronavirus and her willpower to work with Biden to comprise it. “In just a few months, we will swear in a new president who is committed to getting the pandemic under control: @JoeBiden,” she tweeted Saturday morning.
Later in the day, Harris, who will grow to be the primary occupant of the White House who’s of Indian heritage, additionally tweeted greetings for the start of Diwali, the Hindu competition of lights.
Harris has ventured out in the Washington space at the very least as soon as because the election. On a wet Veterans Day, sporting bluejeans and a black raincoat, she and Emhoff dropped by Georgetown’s Dog Tag Bakery, which was based to assist help veterans.
She has in any other case been out of sight at her rental constructing, about 1 mile from the White House, and twice that distance from the Naval Observatory advanced she is going to quickly name residence. “No great thing created suddenly,” reads an inscription on the aspect of the constructing, a quote from the Greek Stoic thinker Epictetus.
Mimicking a tragic face, the server on the Bluestone Lane cafe on the constructing’s floor flooring stated he hoped she would go to once more quickly.
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