The Counselors of Joseph R. Biden Jr. accelerated their transition plan on Friday as election results showed he had an advantage in battlefield nations that could give him the presidency, with the first high-ranking officials in the House. Biden’s potential White could be named as early as next week.
In Wilmington and Washington, Biden’s advisers and allies are ramping up conversations about who can fill key positions, both in the West Wing and across agencies, heavily guided by succession. Mr. Biden’s plan to assemble what will be the most diverse cabinet in history.
The behind-the-scenes activity emphasized that even as Mr. Biden openly delivered a disciplined message about tallying every vote and refraining from his claim of victory, he had outlined a quick start when the country faced off. face a bad pandemic and a compromised economy. .
Mr. Biden, who has been running since Day 1 with a message of bringing the country together, is reportedly interested in making a bipartisan gesture as he plans a future government after an election. The divisive election that President Trump’s results have tried to undermine. Mr. Biden is looking to fill his possible White House staff first, with cabinet positions slated to be announced until around Thanksgiving, according to more than half a dozen people familiar with the programming process. The plan was told on condition of anonymity to discuss the transformation.
Mr. Biden’s team quietly started raising money for his transition in May and has raised at least $ 7 million to pay for its efforts. Camp Biden has prepared for a variety of situations in the event that Mr. Trump refuses to give in and his administration will not participate in the transition.
So far, officials in the Trump administration have been working in good faith, according to Biden officials, saying they hope and expect cooperation to continue.
As coronavirus infection reaches new highs, Mr. Biden’s aides are planning the first major transition decisions to focus on healthcare and pandemic resolution, the central theme of the campaign. in the last months. They brought together an internal team of about two dozen health and technology policy experts to look at vaccine development and delivery, improve health data and secure supply chains, among others. Other problems.
Among those expected to play a key healthcare role in the Biden administration are Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon under President Barack Obama, who has been consulting Biden privately for months on translation and is expected to play a major public role as one in the face of the Democratic administration’s potential response to the virus, offering advice on wearing masks and away from society.
Transition officials are also looking at what kinds of economic action can be taken almost immediately, including the cancellation of some of Mr. Trump’s executive orders, part of a tradition in which the totals The new system will rapidly change or reverse the rules of federal agencies.
Mr. Biden, 77, has told associates that he considers his two terms of vice president and his knowledge of how the White House works from within as key advantages in building government. And he has made it clear publicly and privately that a diverse team is at the heart of his mission.
“Men, women, gay, straightforward, center, blunt, Black, white, Asian,” Mr. Biden said this spring as he talked about his future cabinet. “It’s really important that you look like the country, because people take a slightly different perspective.”
Although Mr. Biden and other Democrats have actively pushed for control of the Senate, the party has failed in fierce races this week. Senate Republicans are now likely to take a veto power over his top-level elections, a fact that persists in conversations, even as Democrats remain. could control the Senate if they win two voting Georgia elections in January.
Even before it became clear that Democrats would not win a clear majority in the Senate, Mr. Biden’s advisers began preparing for fierce cabinet-confirmation battles, bringing veterans in line. Obama’s head into executive place is commonly known as the transitional war room.
If Mr. Biden wins, he is initially expected to focus on filling top White House positions, including chief of staff, most powerful employee positions. Ron Klain, his former chief of staff as vice president who served as the White House’s Ebola response coordinator under Mr. Obama, is considered capable of doing so, despite the Others are still under serious consideration.
The centerpiece of Mr. Biden’s transition plan was Ted Kaufman, his former chief of staff in the Senate, who was appointed to replace Mr. Biden as senator after he became vice president, as did Jeff. Zient, former Obama administration official. .
Like Mr. Biden, Mr. Kaufman is considered an institution and, in fact, he wrote laws to devote additional government resources to transitional groups. Yohannes Abraham, who previously worked in the Obama White House as a top aide to Valerie Jarrett and the National Economic Council, is overseeing day-to-day operations.
With his decades-long career in Washington, Mr. Biden has extensive Senate and White House relationships with people from a variety of policy disciplines. That history also means his transition team has faced a lot of outside advice, and former Biden associates are busy looking for work and influence.
Portions of the cast have Biden’s ear during the presidential campaign – Anita Dunn, senior advisor; Steve Ricchetti, another former deputy chief of staff; and Mr. Klain – among those to guide the formation of a government to form. California Sen. Kamala Harris, his running partner, is making a name for himself and speaks regularly with Mr. Biden. In Mr. Biden’s campaign trajectory, Jake Sullivan and Antony J. Blinken are considered by many to be the most influential figures, and both are expected to hold senior positions in one. potential government.
Where they land is considered one of the initial decisions that will help determine other appointments. Mr. Sullivan, a former Hillary Clinton adviser, was placed in one of the positions, while Mr. Blinken, who served as a national security advisor to the vice president, is considered the top candidate for the position. national security advisor.
Some of the most powerful cabinet positions in the Biden administration likely had perceived predecessors.
The top candidate to lead the Defense Department is Michèle Flournoy, the former Defense Secretary in charge of policy, who worked with Biden officials during the campaign. She will be the first woman appointed to this job.
Lael Brainard, who sits on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors and served on the Treasury Department under Obama, is the most talked-about candidate to run the department, especially if the Senate is due to Republican control, which would make endorsing a more progressive option like Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Susan Rice, a former national security adviser in the Obama administration, who was considered by Mr. Biden for the position of vice president, was seen as the top choice for secretary of state, but the threat of party members. Senate Republicans that prevented her from becoming the nation’s main diplomat in 2012 led to her withdrawal, and her nomination is now sure to spark a war.
Mr. Blinken, a former deputy foreign minister, was discussed among Biden’s allies as a viable option, along with Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a leading Biden supporter in October wrote an article in Foreign Affairs magazine about his worldview.
Louisiana representative Cedric Richmond, one of Biden’s campaign co-chairs and an adviser, is widely expected to take on some role in the White House if the Democratic candidate wins. . Another campaign co-chair, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also served on Mr. Biden’s vice-presidential search committee, may join a future administration, though the position is unknown. may attract him to Washington.
The leaders of the Biden transition realize that many of the federal bureaucracy have become demoralized and feel marginalized in the Trump administration. In a small gesture, they are calling potential firsts to agencies a “agency review team”, as opposed to what Trump’s operation called a “landing team” in 2016.
Discussions are stretching discussions of the 2022 midterm election, which has traditionally been a struggle for which side holds the White House and this can be especially complicated for Democrats. in times of increasingly challenging common progress.
Some members of the House of Representatives supported Mr. Biden early, such as Rep. Filemon B. Vela Jr. of Texas and Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, can fit in managerial positions if they wish.
“We have an expression from where I come from: You never forget the people who took you to the dance,” Mr. Biden said at a stop with Mr. Boyle in Philadelphia this week.
Operation Biden is gearing up for Mr Trump’s ability to pose transformational barriers. The transition team has assembled a team of more than 75 officials, with the number planned to grow to around 300 transition employees by Inauguration Day in January. The Administrator of the General Services Administration has the legal authority to release about $ 6.6 million in federal funding for Mr. Biden’s transition, and over the years has done it right away. after the race is called.
Pamela Pennington, a spokesman for GSA, said in a statement that Emily W. Murphy, whom Trump appointed as the agency’s administrator, will initiate a formal transition when it becomes clear that the race finished.
“The GSA administrator does not choose the winner of the presidential election,” said Ms. Pennington. “The GSA administrator identifies candidates who succeed clearly after a clear winner based on the process set out in the Constitution.”
Report contributed by Jonathan Martin, Jim Tankersley, David E. Sanger and Katie Glueck.