A new report from Politico’s West Wing Playbook claims to quote staffers in the Biden White House who are considering jumping ship after the holidays.
“In the first year of the Biden White House, comradery has been fleeting and many teams are suffering from low morale, according to several White House officials,” the outlet reported.
“The result: many White House aides are feeling gloomy this holiday season, so much so that they anonymously fumed to West Wing Playbook in the hope it may alert senior leaders to the problem,” Playbook noted further, adding:
Many are also currently eyeing the exits, creating the potential for higher-than-usual turnover at the beginning of the year, when aides feel they’ve been in the job long enough that it won’t look odd to depart.
“A lot of the natural coordination that happens in a typically functioning White House has been lost, and there has been no proactive effort to make up for it through intentional team building,” said one White House official.
So, what’s the issue?
“Some staffers say it’s the result of an insular, top-heavy White House of longtime Biden aides who are distant from much of the staff — “no new friends in Biden world,” goes the refrain. And others say it’s just poor management,” Politico Playbook adds.
“No one expects business as usual during the pandemic, but it’s beyond demoralizing, it’s insulting — especially when you see DNC and Hill staff and other D.C. types get invited,” a White House official who was granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk explained.
“Many colleagues have brought this up to me unprompted. And I’ve had D.C. friends ask me if I wanted to grab coffee after they attended. Meanwhile, we work here, and most of us haven’t worked here before or stepped foot into the White House,” the official added.
“It’s also hypocritical and ironic that a president whose brand is built on empathy and family has staff policies that fly in the face of that brand. It’s not a good look and it’s emblematic of how this place runs,” the official added.
Beginning in July, meanwhile, reports began documenting how aides to Harris were complaining about her management style, or lack thereof, as some began heading for the exits.
Aides who spoke to Axios said Harris was “f**king up,” with another suggestion that maybe she “shouldn’t be the heir apparent” to the 2024 presidential race because she “could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up.”
In addition, White House aides told the outlet that Harris’ office remains a “s**tshow” featuring “poorly-managed … people who don’t have long-term relationships with her,” an overall “operation sometimes visibly out of sync with Biden’s.”
And “many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she [Harris] could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump.”
Breitbart News added at the time:
The conflict seems to have climaxed before and during Harris’s trip to the border, when she committed “missteps during a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, including an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.” She stated she had not visited the southern border crisis and that she has not toured Europe either.
Aides “are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” a staffer “with direct knowledge of how Harris’s office is run” told Politico. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s**t.”
“People are not fighting every day,” Harris’s senior adviser Symone Sanders told Axios then. “There’s not consternation among aides. That is not true. … I hear that there are critics. Those who talk often do not know and those who know usually are not the ones talking.”
But in late November, Sanders also announced she is leaving.