Harris takes on ‘hard work’ in 100 days as vice president | #schoolshooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Joe Biden named Kamala Harris as his running mate, there were whispers about her ambition — would a former rival be a loyal soldier to a president she so sharply criticized on the campaign trail?

Fueling those whispers was their relationship — while cordial, it was initially not particularly close.

But 100 days into Biden’s term, things look very different. Harris has become one of the administration’s most prominent advocates for Biden’s agenda, standing alongside him at most of his major announcements and building a relationship that aides say is closer than most presidents had with their seconds-in-command.

Harris has taken on one of the administration’s toughest tasks — addressing the root causes of migration to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America. The problem has bedeviled presidents from both parties for years and has no easy solutions.

Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, said the vice president has “taken it on with gusto.”

“She has said to me, ‘When you decide you’re going to run for office and your name is on the ballot, next to it are not two boxes that say, ‘easy work’ and ‘hard work,'” Flournoy said.

Of the hard problems, Flournoy added: “Are we supposed to ignore them because they’re hard? Or are we supposed to really dig in and try to fix them?”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the administration’s greatest challenge during its first 100 days. The public health and economic crisis of historic proportions has forced the White House to work differently from Day One of Biden’s tenure.

The pandemic sharply limited travel by the president and vice president, which has had at least one silver lining: Because Harris hasn’t been on the move as much as past vice presidents early on, she’s spent more time with Biden, helping to cement their relationship. The two have had lunch every Friday, and on a typical day may spend four to five hours in meetings together, which ensures that her voice is heard and her fingerprints are left on major policy decisions, aides say. They point to the expansion of the child tax credit and child care funding as examples of her priorities.

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