Is West Point commencement address meant to help rehab the image of Kamala Harris for re-election?

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Right or wrong, my first thought when I read a headline touting Kamala Harris as the first woman to address the commencement ceremony at West Point was the 2024 presidential campaign. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are both deeply unpopular with the American people and Kamala is even more unpopular than Biden. Was she chosen as part of the remaking of her image for the re-election campaign?


Joe Biden is at Camp David this weekend with his family. On Monday he will go to one of his homes in Delaware. Biden doesn’t exactly keep a fast-paced schedule. There is a whole lot of downtime. It just seems to me that the commander-in-chief should be the one making these speeches to the branches of the service each year, certainly for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. YMMV.

As I write this post, Kamala is delivering the commencement address. I tuned in late but I’m watching a livestream on Twitter. She just wove in climate change as one of the security threats in the world, so there’s that.

It’s a routine speech. Kamala is not known as a great speechmaker. Her speechwriters aren’t going to win any awards. There were a lot of complimentary words about American military strength and power. There were flattering words about West Point and the training and education the new officers have received. It was as it should be. I like ceremonies, the traditions and rituals. Military ceremonies are the best.

“A strong America remains indispensable to the world,” Harris is expected to say, according to prepared remarks provided by the White House. “And, it is this pillar of our strength where you have dedicated yourself to lead.”

Kamala is the first woman to deliver the commencement address in the history of West Point. There are 950 graduates this year at West Point. With Kamala as speaker, the media is making hay about the slow progress being made in diversifying the ranks at the U.S. Military Academy. The AP report on the event previewed the historic perspective – in particular, the small number of black women who graduate from West Point. A reference isn’t just made to women in general but to black women. No mention of other minorities, though.


Vice presidents typically travel to one of the federal service academies to address graduating classes. Harris’ visit will be her first to the U.S. Army academy.

Today, about one quarter of the student body are women. Only a few dozen graduates each year are Black women, like Harris, though the number has ticked up in recent years. The academy didn’t admit women until 1976 and had its first female graduates in 1980.

Last year, Kamala delivered the commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. In 2021, she spoke at the U.S. Naval Academy. She could have spoken at West Point in either of those years, right? She still would have been the first woman (and a black woman) to deliver the address. Instead, it’s 2023 and there are stories about remaking her image with the public. Again. So, here we are.

I’ve lost track of how many times Team Biden has decided that Kamala needs an image makeover. Clearly, none of the ones in the past have worked because she is still very unpopular. Earlier this month, her approval numbers sank to all-time lows… among her own party.

Nearly three-quarters of Democrats (73%) approve of Harris’ job performance, and while that is a low mark among her party, it is still significantly better than the 36% approval she gets from independents and 15% from Republicans.

Her numbers have improved since the start of the year among independents (up 6 points) and Republicans (up 7 points), while Democrats have faltered (down 4 points since January).

Approval of Harris sits near record lows among women (42% vs. 41% low) and Hispanics (48% vs. 47%).

Sixty-nine percent of Black voters approve of Harris, up from a low of 60% in January, but a far cry from the high of 82% in June 2021.


Yikes. I guess if Joe Biden starts feeling insecure about his low numbers, he can just look at Kamala’s. Never mind. Poor senile Joe thinks he’s very popular, especially with Democrats. He thinks his poll numbers are great. Bless his heart.

Biden doesn’t have the cojones to replace his flailing vice president because it would piss off black voters, especially the all-important black women voters who elected Biden in 2020. It would be disastrous for his re-election bid so the White House is scrambling to ease the drag Kamala is on the ticket.

Harris’ allies point out she has faced sexism and racism, and argue that the White House has not helped her enough. But detractors say her approval ratings are self-inflicted, and include some missteps in high-profile interviews.

Biden will turn 82 before his second term would begin, and Republicans plan to argue that reelecting him could mean a Harris presidency. If former President Trump, 76, is the GOP nominee, look for him to spend lots of time running against Harris, 58.

No one wants Kamala as president. Her own presidential bid quickly flamed out in 2019. She didn’t even last to the Iowa caucuses. No one wants her to replace Biden if he is re-elected and then doesn’t make it through a second term. At this point, there is little a makeover would do for Kamala. She’s already proven incompetent with assignments she’s been given by Biden, especially the southern border. She doesn’t even pretend to do the work.


The best shot Kamala has at a redo is to grab headlines for delivering speeches. As long as she doesn’t embarrass herself by going off the teleprompter or bursting into her weird cackle of a nervous laugh, it’s her only hope.

Just leaving this here. The makeover is in full force.

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