VP Kamala Harris Takes Another Call With A World Leader — Without Joe Biden
Joe Biden may be the sitting US President but his vice president, Kamala Harris, has been playing an unusually larger role in shaping the new administration’s foreign policy — as the VP held another solo call with a foreign leader on Tuesday, without the president.
Harris reportedly spoke with the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, where the two discussed strengthening the alliance between the two countries.
“Vice President Kamala Harris spoke today with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, and affirmed her commitment to deepening the strong alliance between Norway and the United States,” the readout of the call published by the White House said.
Today @VP Harris spoke to Norway's Prime Minister @Erna_Solberg. On the call, they agreed on the importance of standing together to support human rights and shared democratic values. https://t.co/uH4eE0ROY7
— Rachel Palermo (@RachelPalermo46) March 9, 2021
It added that Harris and Solberg also “agreed on the importance of standing together to support human rights and shared democratic values” — and the two “agreed to cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally to advance global health, particularly the well-being of women and girls.”
“The Vice President thanked the Prime Minister for Norway’s close security partnership with the United States and generous contributions to development and health security efforts around the world,” it added.
Not the first time to take calls with foreign leaders
This is not the first time that Harris held calls with foreign leaders without Biden.
Since inauguration day, VP Harris took calls alone with French President Emanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — although Biden also held a call to the French and Canadian leaders separately.
Biden has earlier come under fire for not reaching out to Netanyahu, while he called Trudeau and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador the week he took office.
With Macron, Harris’ latest call before Norway’s Solberg, the discussion centered on “strengthening bilateral ties” between the US and France.
“Vice President Harris and President Macron agreed on the need for close bilateral and multilateral cooperation to address COVID-19, climate change, and support democracy at home and around the world,” the readout said.
It added: “They also discussed numerous regional challenges, including those in the Middle East and Africa, and the need to confront them together.”
As the vice president to the country’s oldest president ever elected, observers have noted Harris’ increasing foreign policy role could signal that she is a “potential president in waiting.”
Less than two months into the Biden administration, the VP has been frequenting solo calls with world leaders — putting her at the cusp of foreign policy, “though her experience has been almost entirely in the domestic” according to Fox News.
“She will be seen by everyone as a potential president in waiting. Much more than in previous presidencies,” a European ambassador reportedly told Politico last month.
Taking calls from foreign leaders on Biden’s behalf?
Meanwhile, conservatives have repeatedly aired their concerns about Biden’s ability to carry out his presidential duties for four years as the oldest president ever elected in the US at 78 years old.
Under the past administration of President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence occasionally spoke with world leaders, but the former president would often prefer reaching out to them himself.
Former VP Pence reportedly spoke with Trudeau and the presidents of Ukraine and Colombia in 2019, and with Iraq’s prime minister and the president of Colombia for the first time in 2018. In 2017, Pence also held calls with the presidents of Argentina and Australia — already almost the same number of world leaders spoken to by VP Harris barely two months in office.
Earlier, Donald Trump Jr., slammed how Harris is taking the calls from foreign leaders on Biden’s behalf.
Who could’ve guessed that the guy who couldn’t remember where he was +- 50% of the time wasn’t going to be the guy actually in charge? Literally my thesis in Liberal Privilege.
Kamala Harris Already Taking Head of State Phone Calls With World Leaders https://t.co/3yQCbkFptJ
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 16, 2021
“Who could’ve guessed that the guy who couldn’t remember where he was +\- 50% of the time wasn’t going to be the guy actually in charge? Literally my thesis in Liberal Privilege,” he wrote last month.
“Kamala Harris Already Taking Head of State Phone Calls With World Leaders.”
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