Harris takes on ‘hard work’ in 100 days as vice president

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2021, file photo President-elect Joe Biden congratulates Vice President Kamala Harris after she was sworn in during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Biden will mark his 100th day in office on Thursday, April 29. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2021, file photo President-elect Joe Biden congratulates Vice President Kamala Harris after she was sworn in during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Biden will mark his 100th day in office on Thursday, April 29. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – When President Joe Biden named Kamala Harris as his running mate, there were whispers about her ambition — would a former rival be a loyal soldier to a president she so sharply criticized on the campaign trail?

Fueling those whispers was their relationship — while cordial, it was initially not particularly close.

But 100 days into Biden's term, things look very different. Harris has become one of the administration’s most prominent advocates for Biden's agenda, standing alongside him at most of his major announcements and building a relationship that aides say is closer than most presidents had with their seconds-in-command.

Harris has taken on one of the administration’s toughest tasks — addressing the root causes of migration to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America. The problem has bedeviled presidents from both parties for years and has no easy solutions.

Tina Flournoy, Harris' chief of staff, said the vice president has “taken it on with gusto."

“She has said to me, ‘When you decide you’re going to run for office and your name is on the ballot, next to it are not two boxes that say, ‘easy work’ and ‘hard work,'" Flournoy said.

Of the hard problems, Flournoy added: “Are we supposed to ignore them because they’re hard? Or are we supposed to really dig in and try to fix them?”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the administration’s greatest challenge during its first 100 days. The public health and economic crisis of historic proportions has forced the White House to work differently from Day One of Biden’s tenure.