Kamala Harris Staff Exodus Continues: Top Adviser, Speechwriter Leaving

Kamala Harris
(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Two more staffers are leaving Vice President Kamala Harris’ office in a continuation of an exodus of staffers that has reportedly been driven by “Concern about being permanently branded a ‘Harris person.’”

Politico, citing two people familiar with the matter, reported that Meghan Groob was leaving her position as Harris’ director of speechwriting. At the same time, Rohini Kosoglu, one of Harris’ longest serving aides, will depart in August, according to The New York Post.

“The exits of Groob and Kosoglu mean that at least 13 key staffers have left the VP’s team in as many months, including chief of staff Tina Flournoy, chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh, deputy chief of staff Michael Fuchs, communications director Ashley Etienne, director of digital strategies Rajun Kaur, director of advance Karly Satkowiak, deputy director of advance Gabrielle DeFranceschi, director of press operations Peter Velz, deputy director of public engagement Vince Evans, speechwriting director Kate Childs Graham — who Groob was hired to replace — and national security adviser Nancy McEldowney,” The New York Post reported.

While Politico did not give a reason for Groob leaving and a White House official told The New York Post that Kosoglu was leaving “to spend more time with her family, a report from Axios late last year stated that the reason so many staffers are leaving Harris’ office is over “Concern about being permanently branded a ‘Harris person.’”

“There’s been an inordinate amount of disarray — and, now, turnover — throughout her tenure. Her allies say she has a terrific chance to reset and downplay the early stumbles. But top Biden officials privately roll their eyes at her team, and want to see smoother, more effective leadership,” Axios reported.

Axios explained that many of Harris’ staffers “don’t want to be aligned with Harris” if another different Democrat decides to run for president in 2024.

According to Axios, a “Democratic operative close to the vice president’s office, also requesting anonymity to speak freely, said the departures add pressure to Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, to avoid an internal collapse and external criticism.”

Shortly before the Axios report, CNN released a report titled, “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president.” The report cited dozens of Harris’ staffers and detailed the issues in the vice president’s office.

“But, with many sources speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation more frankly, they all tell roughly the same story: Harris’ staff has repeatedly failed her and left her exposed, and family members have often had an informal say within her office. Even some who have been asked for advice lament Harris’ overly cautious tendencies and staff problems, which have been a feature of every office she’s held, from San Francisco district attorney to U.S. Senate,” the report said.

As Politico explained, “Harris’ office has been beset by disorder, bad press, and, at times, internal frictions. … In recent weeks, chatter has grown increasingly loud that Harris wasn’t positioned well to be Biden’s heir apparent in 2028 or, if he opts not to run again, in 2024.”