Vice President Kamala Harris’ communications director will step down next month after just a year in office, the latest in a string of high-level departures from her office.
Jamal Simmons, a veteran Democratic adviser who previously worked for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and more recently as a contributor for CBS News and The Hill, joined the Veep team in January to replace Ashley Etienne, who left in November last year to “other opportunities”.
“Working for Vice President Harris has been an honor and a privilege,” Simmons told Politico. “I am so grateful for the trust she has shown in me and I will miss this amazing team more than anything.”
An email The Hill received from Harris’ chief of staff, Lorraine Voles, says Simmons’ wife has taken a job in New York and her family will be moving there “in the near future.”
“Because of his deep respect for the vice president, he has agreed to come on board for a year,” Voles’ email added, according to Hill.
Simmons was hired to improve Harris’ image after a series of missteps and significantly high staff turnover marred her first year in office.
A slew of reports over the past year portrayed Harris as a difficult boss to work for, with some former employees calling her management style “soul-wracking” and saying her main job was to “prop up a bully.”
A December 2021 Washington Post disclosure about Harris’ office quoted former assistant vice president Gil Duran as saying that employees “act as if they are retiring for positive reasons.”
Duran also claimed that Harris’s “destructive patterns” were behind the departure of Etienne and another former top employee, Symone Sanders.
A June 2021 article in Politico said Harris’s office was “chaotic” with a “tense and sometimes sullen” atmosphere.
“People get thrown under the bus from the top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” the outlet quoted a source as adding that “people feel treated like shit.”
Despite Simmons’ best efforts, a recent Economist/YouGov poll showed Harris’ approval rating among registered voters remained at just 40%, while 55% disapproved of her work as vice president.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/02/kamala-harris-comms-chief-jamal-simmons-to-leave-next-month/ Kamala Harris tells communications chief Jamal Simmons to leave next month