Report: Obama urged Biden to shift campaign staffing strategy

Former President Barack Obama advised President Joe Biden in the White House to change the structure of his reelection campaign, according to a Washington Post report.

Citing three people familiar with the conversations, the Post reported that Obama became “animated” when discussing the potential for former President Donald Trump to regain power during a private lunch with Biden at the White House in recent months.

Obama reportedly suggested to Biden’s advisers that the campaign should send more high-level decision-makers to its headquarters in Delaware, or enable the campaign’s current staff to make decisions without prior approval from the White House. The suggestion reflects concerns among Democratic strategists that Biden’s campaign structure might not be able to adequately respond to rapid changes in the race.

According to the report, Biden’s former boss didn’t suggest he hire specific people. However, Obama has named David Plouffe, his 2008 campaign manager, as the kind of strategist that could help the Biden campaign.

When Obama ran for reelection in 2012, some of his top aides moved from the White House to the campaign, including David Axelrod and Jim Messina. Obama noted the success of that structure during his lunch with Biden, according to the Post.

In comparison, Biden has kept his closest aides — such as Anita Dunn, Steve Ricchetti Jen O’Malley Dillon and others — working in the White House rather than on the campaign.

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY on the Post’s report Saturday.

Obama has often been an active supporter of his former Vice President’s election efforts. In August, he participated in a fundraising effort that offered supporters the chance to meet both Biden and Obama in exchange for a donation — an unusually early bolstering with the election still 15 months away.

Obama also campaigned for Biden during the 2020 campaign, releasing videos supporting him and staging events around the country.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Report: Obama urged Biden to shift campaign staffing strategy

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