Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Vice President Kamala Harris and another potential 2024 presidential candidate, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, appeared together Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Burnout, better opportunities and concern about being permanently branded a "Harris person" is driving some of the turnover in Vice President Kamala Harris's office, people familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Harris is not only a heartbeat from the presidency but, by virtue of her office, the presumed 2024 frontrunner if President Biden doesn't seek re-election. There's been an inordinate amount of disarray — and, now, turnover — throughout her tenure.

  • Her allies say she has a terrific chance to reset and downplay the early stumbles. But top Biden officials privately roll their eyes at her team, and want to see smoother, more effective leadership.

Harris needs "someone loyal, who can think methodically to best position the vice president and to make sure everything she’s doing is being maximized and communicated to a broad population and get her numbers up," one Democratic strategist — who requested anonymity to speak frankly — told Axios.

  • Another Democratic operative close to the vice president's office, also requesting anonymity to speak freely, said the departures add pressure to Harris' chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, to avoid an internal collapse and external criticism.
  • "If we mess this up, it's going to set women back when it comes to running for higher office for years to come," the operative told Axios.

Between the lines: Harris has been under constant political and management scrutiny since she became the first Democrat to end their 2020 campaign — a shock after her massive launch rally.

  • Since taking office, Republicans have attacked her for failing to visit the southern border despite having an immigration portfolio, and rumblings about her management style have been fueled by staff turnover.
  • On Wednesday, chief spokesperson Symone Sanders announced her departure at the end of the month. Previously, communications director Ashley Etienne also said she was resigning.
  • Sanders and Etienne did not provide comment for the record.

When asked about Sanders' decision to leave, Harris told reporters Thursday, "I love Symone."

  • “I can’t wait to see what she will do next. I know that it’s been three years jumping on and off planes going around the country and she works very hard, and I can't wait to see what she'll do next," she added. "I mean that sincerely."

Those close to the vice president's operation tell Axios some of the turnover is natural: the team is exhausted after a busy first year in office, especially coming off a presidential campaign and busy transition.

  • That's the case for Sanders, and Etienne came to Harris's office after a similarly high-pressure job with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said she expects to serve in her job only for a year, too.
  • Part of the turnover also is driven by an interest in financial security, as well as a personal life.

Sanders is expected to get married next year, and her first book, "No, You Shut Up," was published in May 2020 — in the middle of the presidential campaign and during a global pandemic, so she hasn't been able to do a traditional book tour or sell her book in a concerted way.

  • "She came in to be a service to this country, and here's a woman who has her own brand and her own book that just came out," said Glynda Carr, president and CEO of Higher Heights for America, a Democratic PAC dedicated to electing more Black women in office.

One recurring theme, though, is concern — even fear — about career harm by being too closely linked to a flagging operation.

  • Axios is told some Harris staffers want to work on Biden's reelection campaign, while others don't want to be aligned with Harris in the event another promising Democrat runs for president in 2024.
  • A Democrative operative pushed back, noting Harris is the second-in-command.
  • The operative also said Harris staffers don’t think anything about working with her would present a problem for them in future cycles.

Concerns about Harris' operation and treatment by the media triggered a meeting last summer between the Vice President and some of the Democratic Party's most influential women.

  • They discussed how to defend her and chart a positive agenda.
  • White House officials, including chief of staff Ron Klain and presidential adviser Cedric Richmond, also have stepped up to her defense.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Harris' comments to reporters.

Go deeper

Voting rights leaders to snub Biden speech

Black Voters Matter and other voting rights groups outside of the White House last year. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A coalition of Georgia voting and civil rights groups announced Monday they're going to skip President Biden's speech highlighting the issue on Tuesday in Atlanta.

Driving the news: "We’re beyond speeches. We’re beyond events," LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, said during a Zoom meeting attended by reporters. "What we are demanding is federal legislation."

Updated Jan 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden backs filibuster changes to pass voting rights bill

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday threw his support behind changing the Senate's filibuster rules in an effort to pass voting rights legislation.

Driving the news: "I believe the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass the voting rights bill, debate them, vote, let the majority prevail," Biden said in a major speech in Atlanta. "And if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rule, including getting rid of the filibuster for this."

Jan 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

White House braces for brutal inflation report

Photo: Courtesy of the White House

The White House is bracing for another bad report Wednesday on inflation — but now expects it to slow down by the end of the year, administration officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: The Biden administration had been labeling price hikes as "transitory." By publicly warning the Consumer Price Index December reading shows inflation will linger through 2022, officials are trying to temper public expectations and minimize the bad-news blow.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!