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Top Biden White House aides head to the campaign

Two top White House advisers are moving over to the campaign to help lead President Joe Biden’s reelection bid, three people familiar with the move said Tuesday.

White House deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon is set to be the functional head of the campaign and its quest for 270 Electoral College votes, according to the three people. She will be joined by Mike Donilon, a senior Biden adviser, who will focus on the campaign’s messaging and paid media strategy.

The moves signal a new stage in the president’s reelection efforts, with an emphasis placed on better coordination between the White House and Wilmington. The two will move next month, according to the campaign.

Both O’Malley Dillon, who was Biden’s 2020 campaign manager, and Donilon are members of the president’s inner circle. They served key roles in the last campaign and have been trusted aides inside the administration since its beginning.

“When I came into office, I knew my White House needed people that I could trust and count on every day, who knew the promise of our campaign, and who would commit themselves to making it a reality for the American people,” Biden said in a statement. “Mike Donilon and Jen O’Malley Dillon have done exactly that for the last three years. They have served with dedication and purpose as we have delivered on a historic recovery.”

Biden noted no one has served as his trusted adviser longer than Donilon, who started working for him in 1981. He added that O’Malley Dillon has played a key role in every Democratic presidential victory over the past two decades.

“I’m thankful to Mike and Jen both for their service in the White House these last three years, and I am grateful that in rejoining the campaign, they are stepping up one more time to ensure we finish the job for the American people,” the president said.

The campaign’s current manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, will retain her post. Prior campaigns have had senior staff come in from the White House to help manage communications and operations.

“Mike and Jen were essential members of the senior team that helped President Biden and Vice President Harris earn the most votes in American history in 2020,” said Chávez Rodríguez, “and we’re thrilled to have their leadership and strategic prowess focused full time on sending them back to the White House for four more years.”

The moves for O’Malley Dillon and Donilon come as some Biden insiders and Democrats complained about the need for the reelection campaign to pick up the pace of operations and fears that too much power was centered in the West Wing. The changes come as the Biden team began shifting to focus on a likely general election rematch with Donald Trump.

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Author: POLITICO