CBS late night host Stephen Colbert couldn’t resist a jab at Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday night after he answered a question about his role in the administration by raving about skills in leadership of President Biden.
While discussing his and Harris’ mutual admiration for HBO’s “Veep,” the liberal and dependable “Late Show” host noted how lead character Selena Meyer, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, was often frustrated with the “vague duties of the role” and asked Harris to describe how she found being a heartbeat away from being president.
“Well, I have the great privilege of serving with Joe Biden, who is the President of the United States,” Harris replied.
“Does he understand what it’s like to be vice president?” asked Colbert, a sarcastic reference to his time as Barack Obama’s No. 2.
“He does it, he does it,” Harris confirmed, before gushing, “He really is a real partner and he understands this job. … But he’s an amazing leader and I’d like people to see what I see because there’s only one person sitting behind this Resolute Desk. And the decisions that person has to make are the decisions that no one else in the country can make. And that’s a leader extraordinary. He really is.
“That’s a great answer and the question ‘What was the vice president’s job? Colbert said before smiling and leaning closer to Harris. “And your answer is part of the job, I guess.”
Harris also described an incident that she said reminded her of the Emmy-winning HBO show – although it seemed to mix up its cultural references.
“Last week, my team, we had long days as usual, and a member of my team decided to do something really nice for me,” she told Colbert.
“I was out of my office in the west wing. I had a meeting across the street, and we walk back to my office, and he said, “I have to tell you something.”
“’Winter is almost over. It’s really cold today. We didn’t light your fireplace. So I decided, when you were at that meeting, to light the fireplace,” Harris said.
“But he forgot to open the fireplace,” she laughed.
“So the Secret Service was like, ‘Ma’am, you can’t go back to your desk,’ because there was smoke everywhere,” she said. “But it was the sweetest gesture.”
The incident described by Harris bears a marked similarity to a season two episode of “The West Wing,” when White House advisers Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) attempt to make a fire in a room where the fireplace has sealed since the 1800s.
The real-life veep was chased by claims of an oppressive office environment, with former staff members describing her as a ‘bully’ and a ‘soul-destroying’ manager amid high turnover .