Speed Reads

2020 Campaign

Kamala Harris' campaign manager is under fire, receives blame for decline

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) isn't bouncing back after a precipitous decline in the Democratic presidential race — and fingers are starting to point at her campaign manager.

Juan Rodriguez has drawn the ire of both camapaign staffers and outside observers, The New York Times reports. "This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly," state operations director Kelly Mehlenbacher wrote in a resignation letter obtained by the Times.

Mehlenbacher clarified she still supported Harris as a candidate, but did not have confidence in the campaign's leadership. She specifically cited the campaign's decision to move people from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland, and then "lay them off with no notice" and "without thoughtful consideration of the personal consequences to them."

Harris and other senior staff members were reportedly blindsided and angered by the extent of the layoffs, and some aides reportedly found out about them from junior aides and the press rather than Rodriguez himself.

One of Harris' congressional supporters, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), said she told the senator she needs to make a change. "The weakness is at the top, and it's clearly Juan," she said. "He needs to take responsibility — that's where the buck stops."