When it comes to the catastrophe transpiring in Afghanistan, it appears that the Biden administration never runs out of ways to embarrass itself.
The latest humiliation comes from Vice President Kamala Harris during her Asia trip.
In Singapore on Monday, as C-SPAN recorded, Harris was part of a joint news conference with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Naturally, she had to field a question about the Afghanistan debacle, and naturally, she bumbled it.
The moment occurred shortly after the news conference was opened up to questions. A Reuters reporter noted how Afghans have been trampled and have died as they attempted to flee the country that American forces had fought in for two decades. Additionally, the reporter stated there are still American citizens stuck in the capital city of Kabul.
She then said she understood that Harris agreed with the Afghanistan withdrawal, but wanted to know the vice president’s assessment of what went wrong.
In her response, Harris was typically evasive, saying she understood why the question was asked and that she thought there was going to be “plenty of time to analyze” what happened regarding the troop withdrawal.
She said that at the moment, though, the Biden administration is “singularly focused on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us and Afghans who are vulnerable” such as children and women. Harris said the administration feels a deep commitment, and the U.S. certainly has a responsibility, in making it a priority to make sure that those who helped America are safe.
Boilerplate comments from an official representing the Biden White House, in other words. A news release would have claimed as much.
Then things seemed to get tougher for the VP.
“I mean the president has, I think, shown great emotion in expressing, uh, sadness about some of the images we have seen, but we cannot be, um, in any way, um, distracted in any way from what must be our primary mission right now, which is evacuating people from that region who, who deserve to be evacuated,” Harris said.
While the stumbling “uhs” and “ums” were bad enough, Harris’ bearing was even worse. Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson even wrote on Twitter that it appeared Harris needed to reference her notes in order to explain how Biden feels.
Watch as Kamala scrambles on camera and appears to check her notes to remind herself that Biden has “expressed sadness” at the horrific scenes in Afghanistan.
This Administration is such a devastating embarrassment. pic.twitter.com/76m1ePESiR
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 23, 2021
It’s unclear whether Harris was actually checking her notes, as Johson wrote, or was merely stumbling with an answer because she knew she had to choose her words carefully. But either way, the moment was not reassuring.
It is easy for viewers to come away with a feeling that the Biden administration does not have a plan and is not organized when it comes to the situation in Afghanistan. After all, a question on Afghanistan was inevitable in a news conference like this, and Harris should have had an authentic answer ready at hand.
Yet, she appears to be groping for the correct terms to come up with something acceptable.
You can see for yourself the full exchange of the entire question and answer below.
It’s possible, of course, that Harris’ hesitancy was intentional, too, to give added credibility to her words. If that was the idea, it didn’t work. It looked more like the speech of an unprepared high school student than a solid message from the vice president of the world’s most powerful nation.
It is simply embarrassing to herself and the entire Biden administration. A vice president should not have to stumble to find words to communicate how the president is feeling regarding any given situation — let alone, when it comes to something as simple as the president feeling “sad” about a disaster that everyone, on both sides of the aisle, has seen unfold on television.
It is difficult to decide if this incident reflects worse on Harris or Biden. Did she stumble over her words because she is not sure she’s aware of what the Biden administration is doing? Are she and her boss not on the same page?
Or, did Harris have to choose her words carefully because she is aware of Biden’s past indifference toward the Afghan people and wanted to make sure she only used wording that would stand up to public scrutiny?
Either way, this response sounds scripted at its best and cringe-inducing at its worst. It is robotic, and there is no genuine concern that comes through.
It certainly does nothing to reassure people that the administration is doing all that it can to fix the situation in Afghanistan.
This is just the latest in a string of embarrassing incidents that can’t help but make Americans feel less and less confident that the situation in Afghanistan is being handled competently.
With thousands of American citizens and allied nationals still trapped in Afghanistan, Harris’ response to the situation certainly does not make anyone feel any less disturbed by the situation.
In fact, as the Aug. 31st deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal closes in, it is difficult not to feel a sense of pessimism when it comes to this administration’s abilities to safely evacuate everybody in time.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.