89 Images of Vice President Kamala Harris Behind the Scenes from The Advocate’s Exclusive
Author: Christopher Wiggins
For several weeks in May, The Advocate
As we made our way onto the tarmac in White House-rented vans, the day started with a fender bender. The volunteer driver had taken a turn too tightly and scraped the side of the vehicle along the security barrier at the entrance to the LAX tarmac. While waiting for police officials to take photos, a Secret Service agent said she had been the second person to strike the barrier that morning, hoping to reassure her.
Fortunately, Jen and I were moved to another van with a different driver who operated his vehicle safely for the remainder of the day.
After the staff plane landed at LAX, Tate escorted us
It should be noted that there’s nothing quite like traveling around notoriously traffic-congested Los Angeles without stopping or really slowing down. Once the motorcade started, it didn’t stop again until it reached the first destination, a nonprofit organization called Baby2Baby that supports mothers and children experiencing poverty.
As Harris stepped out of her vehicle, the crew from the press van was ushered into the large building complex through a side door around the back. Inside, some local press members had been staged at the end of a corridor where Harris and representatives from the company would end up as they walked the building touring the organization’s warehouse.
Harris and the Baby2Baby co-CEOs came around a corner and stopped (stepping on their “x” spot markers) as photographers and videographers captured some of the conversations. A few moments later, all journalists were ushered down the hall to the next stop along the tour, and the scene repeated itself. This happened again a few times; each time, the press gathered and waited as the organization’s leaders and the vice president made their way to the next part of the building to be featured.
Harris was deeply engaged in the conversation, understanding the organization’s challenges and learning about its work.
The crew from the press van was ushered out of a side door, where we waited until Secret Service agents indicated that Harris was making her way to her vehicle; thus, the scramble began, and everybody rushed to the awaiting cars and vans before police officers on motorcycles began zooming past to start the motorcade heading to Harris and Emhoff’s Brentwood home. We were again “rolling.”
After arriving on the street where the vice president’s home is, the press van peeled off and headed to the hotel where most White House staff stayed.
Tate had shared with us (with the agreement we wouldn’t publicize the information until we arrived at the destination) that Harris and Emhoff would be attending the WNBA home opener of the Los Angeles Sparks at Crypto.com Arena, where the team would face the Phoenix Mercury and Brittney Griner in her first professional basketball game back since she was released from wrongful detention in Russia. I had written a profile about Griner and the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to free her last December, and the opportunity to see her was going to round that story out.
Once there, Harris and the entourage entered the building underground. The press group was taken to a small room used for post-game press conferences and asked to hold.
Next, as ESPN producers conveyed the broadcast countdown time until the game would air live, Harris and Emhoff visited the Mercury’s locker room. The press had been ushered in beforehand.
Next, we were all brought onto the basketball court, passing by tennis star Billie Jean King, her wife, and basketball superstar Magic Johnson, who were all in attendance. Saturday Night Live
Soon, the teams were introduced to thunderous applause and began warming up. After the national anthem, as the lights came back on, the crowd appeared ready for a great game.
She was given a Sparks jersey and waved before rejoining her husband. The couple then watched some of the game as the press van crew was ushered back into the arena’s bowels and taken to a dining room with refreshments and catering.
The day’s events concluded upon arrival at Harris and Emhoff’s home in Brentwood again around 9 p.m.
After arriving, Tate took us to the White House medical unit for a quick covid test before convening in the VP’s press team’s offices in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House.
Shortly after, as we sat outside the vice president’s office door, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre appeared outside the nearby door that leads to the White House press briefing room. She and Jen embraced (Jen shot The Advocate’s
“We’re ready for you,” said one of Harris’s assistant press secretaries, and I was introduced. “Madam Vice President Christopher Wiggins from The Advocate
The interview is part of The Advocate’s
The previous day, Mike and I were required to take a COVID test at the White House complex. Meeting before dawn at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, D.C. in Maryland, we were met by an Air Force liaison who escorted us to the passenger terminal.
Rhode Island U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who graduated from West Point, appeared in the terminal with an aide. White House staff confirmed that Reed would be joining on the plane.
Many of the agents and support staff began eating immediately (days traveling with the vice president can be super hectic with few moments to grab a bite, so those with experience know to eat when they can.)
In addition to joining the trip for The Advocate
As I wrote the first report, were informed that it was time to go “under the wing” for Harris and Emhoff’s arrival on Marine Two and boarding Air Force Two.
Everybody else rushed onboard using the rear stairway, and the plane was on its way within minutes.
After a brief conversation and photos with Harris, Mike and I retook our seats.
The team hurried into the press van again, and the motorcade was again underway.
After arriving at West Point’s Michie Stadium, Mike and I and a crew from CBS’s 60 Minutes
One can read The Advocate’s
That flight, though a bit bumpy, was also otherwise uneventful.
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins