Kamala Harris goes unnoticed in Paris

PARIS – A closed circuit dinner, no local media interviews and mostly formal events: Kamala Harris’s visit to Paris was supposed to get you on the international stage, but has so far given the US Vice President little opportunity to interact with the French people step.

At the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum Thursday, Harris called her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was conducting breast cancer research with scientists from the Pasteur Medical Institute – a rare personal touch on an otherwise strictly controlled visit.

Three days after her five-day stay in France, the Vice President’s visit to France did not arouse public or media interest like the visits by Presidents Barack Obama or Donald Trump.

Granted vice presidents don’t get the same billing, but Harris’ unique profile as the first woman and first black Indian vice president could have aroused more curiosity.

Instead, French media coverage was minimal. Her bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday evening was not featured in news broadcasts or newspapers, and her presence at the Armistice Day commemoration was mentioned in passing.

This year’s commemoration honored Hubert Germain, the last surviving member of the Order of Liberation who fought under General de Gaulle’s orders to liberate France from Nazi occupation. Germain died in October at the age of 101. As a result, Harris’ presence was overshadowed, despite being the only foreign dignitary present at the memorial ceremony.

Macron greeted Harris warmly when he arrived at the Arc de Triomphe, where she stood with French officials for the ceremony. French Junior Minister for Citizenship Marlène Schiappa thanked She for her presence in a tweet, and Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is running for French President, also paid tribute to the US Vice President.

“France and the United States are infallible allies and share a common history, the memory of the two world wars of the 20th century. What a beautiful symbol the presence of Vice President Kamala Harris today is for this commemoration, ”said Hidalgo tweeted.

After the lackluster reception of her previous overseas trips to Mexico, Guatemala and Singapore, senior US officials went to great lengths to reassure reporters the importance of her visit and the “leadership” she held on the world stage.

Harris was one of the VIP guests at the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum, Macron’s annual marquee event on global multilateralism.

But her speech was a bit shallow as Harris offered little concrete solutions or new groundbreaking proposals to tackle inequalities.

Instead, the US Vice President called on world leaders to “not accept the status quo” and to combat the “dramatic increase” in inequalities.

The political struggles in Washington DC over the social safety net and climate laws that the Biden administration seeks to enforce in Congress have had an impact on Harris’ visit when right-wing political activists like Abigail Marone, press secretary for Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, falsely accused her of putting on a French accent during a brief speech in front of the Pasteur Institute.

“Is she using a FRENCH ACCENT ?! I love this episode of Veep, ”Marone tweeted Based on a TV comedy show about a vice president who is prone to slip.


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