Former Kamala Harris aide: ‘We have never had a woman on the national stage’

Jamal Simmons joins the hosts of ‘Politically Georgia’ on Tuesday
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, from left, DeKalb County Commissioner Merda Johnson, Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, greet each other following the vice president's arrival Tuesday in Atlanta. Harris will headline a Juneteenth block party after holding a conversation with hip-hop star Quavo at his summit to stop gun violence. (Arvin Temkar / AJC)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, from left, DeKalb County Commissioner Merda Johnson, Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, greet each other following the vice president's arrival Tuesday in Atlanta. Harris will headline a Juneteenth block party after holding a conversation with hip-hop star Quavo at his summit to stop gun violence. (Arvin Temkar / AJC)

Vice President Kamala Harris is back in Georgia again today — less than five days after her most recent visit.

Her former communications director, Jamal Simmons, joined the host of “Politically Georgia” on Tuesday. Simmons said Harris’ presence is important in Georgia and nationally.

“We have never had a woman on the national stage,” Simmons said, referring to Harris’ standing as the first female vice president.

On Tuesday, Harris reinforced the Biden administration’s commitment to gun safety laws in a conversation with Atlanta rapper Quavo, whose nephew was shot and killed nearly two years ago.

Harris will also headline a Juneteenth block party in the afternoon to ramp up support for the Biden-Harris ticket.

“I think she takes that role very seriously in communicating to the constituencies who may not have felt as connected to the last White House,” Simmons said.

Georgia, with its 16 electoral votes, is a crucial state in the presidential race. In 2020, Joe Biden narrowly won Georgia by about 12,000 votes.

Jamal Simmons, a communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris, joined "Politically Georgia" on Tuesday to talk about the role  Harris fills in the Biden administration.

Credit: CNN

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Credit: CNN

Simmons said that because of that narrow margin, it was even more important for Harris to carve out a role for herself in the administration.

“When I went to go work for her (in the White House), and we had a laugh about this, I said, ‘You know, you haven’t had a boss in a long time, right,’ ” Simmons said.

“She’d been her own person as a political figure for a long time,” the Morehouse alum said of Harris’ transition from U.S. senator to second in command.

“No vice president has a lot of oxygen because the president is such a domineering figure,” Simmons said. “And so we always have to have a vice president hone in on things that are incredibly important.”

Wednesday on “Politically Georgia”: Host Bill Nigut and UATL’s Mike Jordan focus on the Juneteenth holiday.