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Top Democratic women blame Kamala Harris’ low approval on media’s ‘sexist overtones’: Report

Top Democratic Party women are complaining that Vice President Kamala Harris’ low approval rating is due to sexist media coverage and think “[making] sure the press knows this” is key to bolstering her image, according to a new report.

Axios reported Thursday on a group of leading Democratic strategists, including Donna Brazile, Stephanie Cutter, Karen Finney, and Jennifer Palmieri, who met in Washington last month to game out why Harris is less popular than her boss; a recent poll showed her at 45-percent approval with 48 percent disapproving.

A source told Axios the women felt there were “sexist overtones” to her press coverage, the Washington Free Beacon noted, that reminded them of the unfair headwinds Hillary Clinton faced during her unsuccessful 2016 bid.

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Vice President Kamala Harris.
Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Many of us lived through the Clinton campaign, and want to help curb some of the gendered dynamics in press coverage that impacted HRC,” one source familiar with the meeting said. “It was like: ‘We’ve seen this before.’ It’s subtle. But when things aren’t going well for a male politician, we ask very different questions, and they’re not held to account the way a woman leader is.”

They discussed how they could “make sure the press knows this,” according to the report. Harris wasn’t present at the meeting, nor were members of her team.

From her poorly received management of the southern border crisis to her awkward interview moments, to her office’s reported clashes with the West Wing and stories about low morale and a toxic work culture in her office, Harris has struggled to maintain the positive coverage she got as a vice-presidential candidate.

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Former Trump White House press secretary and “Outnumbered” co-host Kayleigh McEnany wasn’t buying the sexism excuse.

“Sexism is the new straw man argument being used by team Kamala to cover for her poor performance as vice president,” she told Fox News. “From a massive, unresolved border crisis to failing to shepherd voting legislation through Congress, Kamala has failed at the tasks she’s been given.”

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan wrote it was “telling that so early in the Biden-Harris administration, such powerful operatives felt compelled to try to right the vice president’s ship.”

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President Joe Biden’s approval has also declined in recent weeks amid a small but significant spike in coronavirus cases nationwide, but he has remained above-water with voters throughout his short tenure.

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