(The Post Millennial) – As the holiday season hits its peak, some White House staffers and aides are looking for a way out, citing issues with leadership.
A number of White House aides spoke with Politico’s West Wing Playbook, anonymously complaining about issues including burnout, communication, and perks.
“A lot of the natural coordination that happens in a typically functioning White House has been lost, and there has been no proactive effort to make up for it through intentional team building,” said one White House official.
In an effort to build camaraderie with employees, informal happy hours and group dinners have been planned, “But they’ve largely not done the trick,” wrote Playbook.
“Some staffers say it’s the result of an insular, top-heavy White House of longtime Biden aides who are distant from much of the staff — “no new friends in Biden world,” goes the refrain. And others say it’s just poor management,” the outlet wrote.
One large issue cited by aides in the holiday season was the lack of ability for most aides to bring in family members for White House tours of Christmas decorations.
A lottery system was reportedly used, with tour slots spanning three days.
“Most were understanding of the restrictions, until White House Operations asked for volunteers to staff five extra day of tours for non-White House staff,” wrote Playbook.
Staffers were angry, believing the staff should have been taken care of first as “DC Randos” posted their tours to social media.
“No one expects business as usual during the pandemic, but it’s beyond demoralizing, it’s insulting — especially when you see DNC and Hill staff and other DC types get invited,” one White House official told Playbook.
“Many colleagues have brought this up to me unprompted. And I’ve had DC friends ask me if I wanted to grab coffee after they attended. Meanwhile, we work here, and most of us haven’t worked here before or stepped foot into the White House,” they continued.
“It’s also hypocritical and ironic that a President whose brand is built on empathy and family has staff policies that fly in the face of that brand. It’s not a good look and it’s emblematic of how this place runs,” the official added.
The complaints reflect similar ones coming from Vice President Kamala Harris’ office, where a number of her aides cited harsh leadership.
Those criticizing her leadership said working for her can mean enduring “a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism.”
“One of the things we’ve said in our little text groups among each other is what is the common denominator through all this and it’s her,” said Gil Duran, a former Democratic strategist and aide to Harris who quit after working with Harris for just five months in 2013.
“Who are the next talented people you’re going to bring in and burn through and then have (them) pretend they’re retiring for positive reasons,” he continued.