Vice President Kamala Harris just committed an astonishing act of political malpractice.

Consider these circumstances:

Joe Biden was never a great politician, and now he's a president as doddering as one might fear from someone turning 80 next year. His standard-fare gaffes have devolved into those that some observers liken to a dementia patient. And whether it's his botched Afghanistan withdrawal, deference to dictators Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, or commitment to rivaling the inflation of the Carter years, his particular skill set has never been less made for a moment.

But curmudgeonly, barely sentient old Joe is still Uncle Joe: the father who grieved publicly twice for a dead child, the white sidekick to our first black president, and the liberal less interested in wokespeak and eating the rich than he is in union jobs and healthcare. He still has a remnant of an emotional connection to Middle America that Harris has never developed.

The generation-defining political genius of Barack Obama was both a blessing and a curse to the Democrats. Obama dominating the arena for a decade allowed his party to grow lazy, coronating Hillary Clinton rather than cultivating younger talent such as Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey or then-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. By 2020, Donald Trump was the only Republican Biden could beat. But just as much, Biden was the only Democrat with a brand capable of beating Donald Trump.

With all of these rather obvious considerations factoring into the equation, Harris should be wary of undermining her tenuous position as the heir apparent. If she burns bridges with Biden's inner circle now, she may not have much time to rebuild them.

That's why it was so politically ham-handed for the vice president to tell the Wall Street Journal, on the record, that she and the man who put her so close to power have never spoken of whether he will run for reelection.

Biden boxed himself into adding the then-California senator to the ticket, first by committing to tapping a woman as his running mate and then as the concession for his crucial deal for veteran Rep. Jim Clyburn's career-saving endorsement before the South Carolina primary. Biden thus limited his list of probable running mates to black women only. But there was exactly one black woman available, namely Harris, in either the Senate or the nation's governors' mansions. That is why she is now a heartbeat away from the presidency — not any great political merit.

But in giving the game away, Harris has yet again outed herself as far from a team player. For months, she and now-Transportation Secretary Buttigieg — the 2020 dark horse who not only, contrary to Harris, made it to the Iowa caucuses but also won them — have had a war by proxy in the press. The former South Bend mayor has done a better job than Harris at situating himself as Biden's more likely successor, should the president decide against running for a second term at age 82.

Harris's admission is even more shocking considering that Jen Psaki, the press secretary of the Biden (and Harris) administration, has been adamant in her assertion that Biden has every intention of running for reelection. So what gives? Was Psaki lying to preserve the public opinion inertia of an incumbent, or was Harris lying to fuel the rumor mill that it's open season for the Democratic nomination and donors come 2024?

Nobody knows for sure, but either way, Harris continues to prove that she's out for one person — and it's not the man in the Oval Office.