In yet another unprecedented display of the incumbent vice president taking on duties normally reserved for the president, Kamala Harris took a solo call from the Prime Minister of Norway on Tuesday, as reported by Fox News.
Harris took the call from Prime Minister Erna Solberg, with Harris “affirming her commitment to deepening the strong alliance between Norway and the United States,” while also “thanking the Prime Minister for Norway’s close security partnership with the United States, and generous contributions to development and health security efforts around the world.”
This is in addition to Harris exclusively taking calls from other prominent world leaders instead of Joe Biden following their inauguration on January 20th, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The pattern reflects not only growing concerns that Biden is not handling some of the same responsibilities as his predecessors, but that his time in office could already be very limited due to worsening physical and mental health issues. One anonymous European official told Politico back in February that Harris is already widely viewed “by everyone as a potential president-in-waiting, much more than in previous presidencies.”
By contrast, President Donald Trump not only preferred to handle such calls with world leaders by himself, but was reported to have frequently called them first rather than wait for them to call him. Then-Vice President Mike Pence would occasionally participate, but the vast majority of such calls were handled by President Trump.