Kamala Harris' top aide lashes out at campaign's treatment of staff in stinging resignation letter as she joins rival Michael Bloomberg's team
Mehlenbacher, 35, was furious after Harris' campaign sacked staffers hastily and the leadership could not satisfactorily address people's concerns.
Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris already has a number of challenges to meet if she wants to get into the top runners list to bag the party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential elections. And now, her campaign has been marred by yet another uncomfortable experience as one of the California senator’s top aides quit it to work for party rival Michael Bloomberg who joined the race recently. What has made it worse is that Kelly Mehlenbacher has left behind a strongly worded resignation letter flaying Harris’ campaign.
In her November 11 letter that was obtained by the New York Times, Mehlenbacher said: “This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly.” The letter surfaced after Harris’ campaign suddenly laid off staff members earlier in November to keep pace with the rivals, the Times reported.
Mehlenbacher also wrote in her letter that with less than three months left for the Iowa caucuses -- the first big test for the Democrats in the primary phase -- there was no “real plan to win” in place for the Harris campaign. The Iowa caucuses will be held on February 3, Monday. She even said that while she believed that Harris is still the strongest candidate to win the 2020 election, she did not have the confidence in either its campaign or leadership.
Mehlenbacher has earlier worked with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama
The 35-year-old Mehlenbacher has a weighty experience in politics. Before her stint as Harris’ chief of operations, she worked as the treasury manager for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, says her LinkedIn profile. There, it is also mentioned that she is the chief operating officer of Onward Together, Hillary’s progressive super PAC that was launched two years ago. Between November 2011 and April 2014, Mehlenbacher worked as a White House Liaison for the State Department under the Barack Obama presidency. She even worked on Hillary’s 2008 campaign in accounts.
The decision to lay off staff members left Harris’ campaign in a shambles and Mehlenbacher’s words reflected the staffers’ fury. Two of the campaign officials also told the Times that campaign manager Juan Rodriguez failed to respond satisfactorily to their concerns.
Though Harris was seen as a promising candidate early on, her campaign has not taken off and it is struggling at the moment in terms of fund-raising, strategy and campaign message. Even the black voters are believed to be leaning more in favor of her rival Joe Biden.
The 55-year-old Harris, however, is focusing on Iowa at the moment after sacking staff members and closing down offices in New Hampshire which will go to the primary on February 11. She got a good rating at the last Democratic debate in Atlanta and has tried to engage with smaller groups to improve her campaign.