Biden’s Staff Plans Mass Exodus Before Midterms

OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion

A high-profile addition to the Biden Administration staff highlights the fact that many staffers are moving on.

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will join the West Wing as a senior adviser for public engagement, Axios first reported.

Bottoms will replace Cedric Richmond as one of his most high-level aides.

Bottoms role will be ” to develop Biden’s policies and then convince the broader Democratic coalition that the president is charting the right approach,” Axios reported.

Bottoms told Axios in an interview that she plans to do “more listening than anything,” and that “it’s important that people feel their voices are reflected and their voices are heard.”

Axios reported that Bottoms has committed to serve “at least” through the midterms.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez was promoted to senior advisor and assistant to the president and plans to continue serving as director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, The Hill reported.

Rodriguez is the granddaughter of farm worker leader Cesar Chavez.

Biden’s inner circle of advisers – Steve Ricchetti, Mike Donilon, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Kate Bedingfield and Chief of Staff Ron Klain – remain in place for the moment.

But many Biden Administration staff are feeling the burnout.

There have already been a handful of high-profile departures like White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who has now joined MSNBC as a political analyst, host, and commentator.

Amanda Finney, who was Chief of Staff for the White House press office, departed for a senior communications post at the Energy department, Bloomberg reported.

Michael Kikukawa, left for a role at the Treasury Department.

Assistant White House press secretary Vendant Patel left his post last month for a job as a spokesman at the State Department.

Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond has moved over to the Democratic National Committee, Daily Mail reports.

This week White House counsel Dana Remus, who has clerking for Justice Samuel Alito on her resume and has been a top lawyer for the Biden team, said she would be moving on next month as well.

Remus will be replaced by her No. 2, Stuart Delery, who was the No. 3 at the Justice Department during the Obama administration.

No word as of yet on where Remus will land after her exit from the White House team.

The Hill Newspaper reported Thursday on the burnout being felt inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., as President Joe Biden has had to deal with a pandemic, a war, rising inflation, a baby formula shortage, among other things, after 17 months in office, and for some staff, a year or more on the campaign trail.

Every president has challenges and events to handle during his term, and it seems that stress would go with the territory. Political staffers expect to handle emergencies, press, and other juggling acts.

But during the lead up to the midterms, a team normally will be tightening up and getting ready for the next campaign.

The HIll reported that one Democratic strategist said, ” It doesn’t look good.”

“The perception form the outside is that it’s not the place you want to be,” the unnamed Democrat continued.

“There’s a lot of finger-pointing going around right now. It doesn’t seem like it’s humming the way that it should be.”

The fact that so many White House aides are leaving the administration at this particular time before the fall midterms looks like jumping ship.

Brookings reported that President Biden’s ‘A-Team’ turnover is 26% as of June 16, 2022.

The ‘A-Team’ is made up of members of the executive office of the president and does not include cabinet members, Brookings explained.

AP News named the turnover events the “Great Resignation” quoting New white House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as she was delivering her third on-camera goodbye to a departing staffer in less than 24 hours.

“I promise we will have a press shop,” Jean-Pierre said to reporters, according to AP. ” Not everyone is leaving.”

AP reported that,” Two-thirds of the White House press shop, much of the Covid-19 response team, two of the deputy counsels to the president, even the staffer who manages the White House Twitter account are all leaving within a few weeks of each other.”

One top official said that many staffers are simply ‘tapped out.’

‘It’s been a long few years,’ the official told the Hill. ‘The burnout is real. It might not be the ideal time to leave with everything going on, but it’s the right time.’

The source explained it’s better to get out in the early summer months before campaigning for the fall midterms begins in earnest.
‘And then you’re really locked in,’ the official told the newspaper.

Still, one Democratic source warned the Hill that it could be harmful if there’s the impression there’s an exodus.

‘It doesn’t look good,’ the Democrat said. ‘The perception from the outside is that it’s not the place you want to be. There’s a lot of finger-pointing going around right now. It doesn’t seem like it’s humming the way it should be.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Send this to a friend