In a spirited display bound to ignite conversations and debates across the American political spectrum, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) lambasted Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday, publically challenging her ability to effectively and eloquently communicate during speeches. This comes after a video featuring the Vice President struggling to define the concept of ‘culture’ during an event, promptly went viral.
Kamala Harris explains "culture":
"Culture is — it is a reflection of our moment and our time. Right? And present culture is the way we express how we're feeling about the moment and we should always find times to express how we feel about the moment…" pic.twitter.com/ffHLD5blQv
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 6, 2023
Distilling the essence of ‘culture’ during a conversation at Essence Magazine’s “Festival of Culture” in New Orleans on June 30, Harris said, “Well I think, culture is, is a reflection of our moment and our time. Right? And, and, and present culture is the way we express how we’re feeling about the moment and, and we should always find times to express how we feel about the moment.” Stretching her explanation further, she added, “That is a reflection of joy. ‘Cause you know … it comes in the morning.”
Reacting to the video, Kennedy shared his perspective on why the Vice President seemingly struggled. “She’s struggling for a couple of reasons. Number one, she doesn’t appear to be prepared. Number two, no matter how well-prepared you are, you have to be able to express yourself,” Kennedy stated.
Dishing out a rather tongue-in-cheek remark, he further added, “And with respect, I would say the vice president needs to work on being a little more articulate. Some might say that based on her performances that English is not her first, second, third, or even fourth language.”
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) mocks Vice President Kamala Harris over her latest word salad: “English is not her first, second, third, or even fourth language.” pic.twitter.com/aEXuyKHLJ9
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) July 7, 2023
Expounding on his viewpoint, the Senator from Louisiana enumerated what he believed were the root causes of the issue. “But number three, I think sound advice for anyone, politician or not, is always be yourself unless you suck. If you suck, have enough self-awareness to know you suck, and try to do better,” he said. Kennedy further commented on what he perceived as the Vice President’s forceful attempt to project intelligence, rather than sharing her genuine beliefs or thoughts in a simple, decipherable language that resonates with Americans.
Kennedy’s comments and the viral video have since sparked a digital blaze, further fueling the long-standing political tensions within the country’s main bilateral political establishment.
In this high stakes game of political optics, one thing seems clear – perception matters. Senator Kennedy’s critique, though sharp, underlines the need for politicians to express themselves clearly, concisely, and authentically. Articulating complex matters such as ‘culture’ is important, but equally valuable is the ability to convey thoughts in a manner that the average American can comprehend. As our nation grapples with profound cultural shifts and pressing sociopolitical challenges, the onus is on our leaders- on both sides of the aisle- to communicate effectively. Whether this incident spurs thoughtful introspection or merely fans partisan fires remains to be seen.