Sunday, April 11, 2021
In the 2 1/2 weeks since President Joe Biden announced he was tasking Vice President Kamala Harris with leading diplomatic efforts to stem the flow of migrants at the Southern border, the White House has found itself having to clarify the shape of her role on a near-daily basis. White House press secretary Jen Psaki has fielded frequent questions on whether Harris' role includes addressing the current situation on the southern border, while aides to the vice president have quickly shot down suggestions that Harris is focused on anything other than tackling the root causes of migration in Mexico and the "Northern Triangle" countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. "The Northern Triangle, which I'm sure you're aware of," Psaki said Wednesday, "is not the same as the border."
The confusion clouding Harris' first big policy assignment underscores the challenges Harris faces as she seeks to define her role inside the Biden White House. It also raises questions as to why the White House did not do more at the outset to clearly establish and communicate the shape of her new policy role.
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