Vice President Kamala Harris used her speaking opportunities on Thursday to echo former President Jimmy Carter and cite “malaise” as the primary drag on the United States.
In addition to comparing the events of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil, Harris used an interview with PBS News Hour on Thursday to deflect the Biden administration’s failures onto the American public.
“The Biden-Harris agenda, in the beginning, a year ago, got off to a strong start, but it’s obviously stalled. Right now, the president’s approval ratings have taken a dramatic hit. Did you try to do too much?” interviewer Judy Woodruff asked.
The Democrat administration has come under tough criticism after its failure to “shut down the virus” as promised. Harris, however, overlooked Americans’ concerns about rising inflation, the government’s heavy-handed COVID-19 measures, and other problems plaguing their well-being to pretend that the White House has accomplished much.
“There has been great progress. No doubt, COVID, for example, I mean, we’re all — well, everybody is frustrated with that. And I understand and I fully appreciate there is a level of malaise. We’re two years into this thing. People are — we want to get back to normal. We all do. But we have to then do the tough and hard work of pushing through with solutions, understanding that there are going to be challenges, but let’s meet the challenges where they are. And let’s also take a moment to see the progress we have achieved,” she said.
Harris’s use of the word “malaise” was eerily similar to the thoughts communicated by Carter in his infamous 1979 “malaise” speech. At the time, the U.S. economy was marked by rising gas, energy, and other homeowner prices as well as a more than 11 percent inflation rate. But instead of soothing Americans worried about the future, Carter demanded they fix the crises he helped create.
“The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation,” Carter said. “The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.”
Carter never technically used the word “malaise” in his speech, but his melancholy words marked his presidency. As noted by The Boston Globe, “Carter’s popularity grew briefly after his remarks, his poll numbers swiftly sank back to low levels that reflected the real malaise in his administration.”
Harris is all too familiar with terrible poll numbers. Both Biden and his vice president have failed to gain Americans’ confidence in the polls as inflation, gas prices, food costs, and a long list of crises have marred their one year in office. In November, only 28 percent of Americans believed Harris was doing a good job.
As Harris became increasingly unpopular, several of her key staffers announced their departures from the White House. These abrupt staffing changes followed a series of reports from several corporate media outlets detailing internal conflict between the VP and the people in her office.