Harris pushed hard for voting rights — then hit a brick wall

“When you’re vice president, you really can’t get out front of the White House,” said Bakari Sellers, a friend of the vice president’s and one of her most vocal supporters. “It’s tough. But with the president actually being forceful in nature about and not fence-sitting about his position on the filibuster on this issue, it gives her the tools necessary to be successful and that’s the only concern I’ve ever raised. You want to make sure that she’s not being handicapped.”

Still, the failure — for now — to move voting rights legislation raises questions about how effective Harris’ push actually was. One person familiar with the administration’s thinking argued that substantial progress had been made even in the absence of legislation. “If you think about the beginning of this year, there were very few Senate Democrats who supported doing this on the filibuster. Right? Today it’s basically two people who don’t. That is a significant shift,” the person said…

While there is some concern in Harrisworld that she could get some blame from the press if voting rights legislation ultimately fails to get through the Senate, it isn’t universally shared. Allies point out that the larger civil rights community is pleased with Harris’ work and argue that the issue isn’t a lack of effort but the intractability from moderate Democrats on filibuster reform alongside zero Republican support. This time, the thinking goes, others will take the fall.