A new book claims tensions between Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden began even before inauguration day when the vice president’s team expressed displeasure over the infamous Vogue cover that featured her wearing sneakers.

“In the two weeks before Inauguration Day, Harris dispatched aides to address the upcoming issue of Vogue, according to an exclusive excerpt of the upcoming book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Futureby the New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns,” reports Politico.


The reporters write the leaked photo featuring the vice president in Converse and skinny pants made Kamala Harris appear “approachable” while giving her a “less than grand depiction.”  When Harris expressed misgivings, Vogue switched to the more traditional photo for its “digital cover” while the Converse cover was sold as a limited edition.

“Harris was wounded. She felt belittled by the magazine, asking aides: Would Vogue depict another world leader this way?” the book claims.

Harris’ press secretary Symone Sanders initially lamented the photo to Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who then reportedly asserted she personally chose the photo, adding that it made Harris more “relatable.” Tensions between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden only erupted from there, per Politico:

Incoming chief of staff Tina Flournoy was caught “off-guard by the anger in Harris’ circle” and contacted a senior Biden campaign official. Given the country’s myriad crises and the recent January 6th riot at the Capitol, “[t]he Biden adviser told Flournoy that this was not the time to be going to war with Vogue over a comparatively trivial aesthetic issue. Tina, the adviser said, these are first-world problems,” according to the excerpt.

It was an early indication that members of the Biden-Harris teams were on different pages with different priorities.

Martin and Burns report the vice president’s office began to believe Joe Biden’s “white inner circle” did not properly respect Kamala Harris and that the vice president “worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her.”

“She fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious,” the book claims.

Harris also reportedly felt snubbed by the White House when it reportedly mocked a suggestion from the vice president’s staff that she “oversee relations with the Nordic countries — a low-risk diplomatic assignment that might have helped Harris get adjusted to the international stage in welcoming venues like Oslo and Copenhagen.”

“White House aides rejected the idea and privately mocked it,” the book claims. “More irritating to Biden aides was when they learned the vice president wanted to plan a major speech to outline her view of foreign policy. Biden aides vetoed the idea.”

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