PARIS — A closed-door dinner, no native media interviews and largely formal occasions: Kamala Harris’ go to to Paris was meant to launch her on the worldwide scene however has supplied the U.S. vp little alternative to date to attach with the French individuals.
On the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Discussion board Thursday, Harris invoked her mom Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who performed breast most cancers analysis with scientists from the Pasteur medical institute — a uncommon private contact in an in any other case tightly managed go to.
Three days into her five-day keep in France, the vp’s go to to France has not garnered the sort of well-liked or media curiosity that visits by Presidents Barack Obama or Donald Trump did.
Granted vice presidents don’t get the identical billing, however Harris’ distinctive profile as the primary lady and first Black and Indian vp may have attracted extra curiosity.
As an alternative, French media protection has been minimal. Her bilateral assembly with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday night didn’t get prime billing on newscasts or in newspapers, and her presence on the Armistice Day commemoration was talked about in passing.
This yr’s commemoration honored Hubert Germain, the final surviving member of the Order of Liberation that fought below Basic de Gaulle’s command to free France from Nazi occupation. Germain died in October aged 101. Consequently, Harris’ presence was overshadowed although she was the one international dignitary current on the commemoration.
Macron warmly greeted Harris when he arrived on the Arc de Triomphe the place she was standing with French officers for the ceremony. French Junior Minister for Citizenship Marlène Schiappa thanked her for her presence in a tweet, and Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who’s working for president of France, additionally paid tribute to the U.S. vp.
“France and america are unfailing allies and share a typical historical past, the reminiscence of the 2 world wars of the 20 th century. What a wonderful image the presence of VP Kamala Harris is for this commemoration right this moment,” Hidalgo tweeted.
After the lackluster reception of her earlier international journeys to Mexico, Guatemala and Singapore, senior U.S. officers went to nice lengths to repeatedly underline to reporters the significance of her go to and the “management” function she was exercising on the world stage consequently.
Harris was one of many VIP visitors on the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Discussion board, Macron’s yearly marquee occasion on international multilateralism.
However her speech fell a bit flat, with Harris providing little by means of concrete options or new game-changing proposals to battle inequalities.
As an alternative, the U.S. vp known as on world leaders to “refuse to simply accept the established order” and battle the “dramatic rise” in inequalities.
The political battles enjoying out in Washington D.C. over the social security internet and local weather payments the Biden administration is making an attempt to get handed in Congress spilled into Harris’ go to when right-wing political operatives like Abigail Marone, the press secretary for Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, erroneously accused her of placing on a French accent throughout a brief speech to the Pasteur institute.
“Is she utilizing a FRENCH ACCENT?! I like this episode of Veep,” Marone tweeted in reference to a TV comedy present a few gaffe-prone feminine vp.