The Corner

Politics & Policy

Meet the New Biden Team, the Democratic Establishment

Today the Biden campaign named seven figures to future White House senior staff positions. As mentioned in today’s Morning Jolt, congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana will be senior advisor to the President and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Jen O’Malley Dillon will be the deputy chief of staff. Her marketing firm’s clients include General Electric, Planned Parenthood, Humana, IBM, YouTube, Bank of America, and the National Football League. She will be deputy to Ron Klain, who previously “lobbied for an asbestos industry bailout package, an airline merger, mortgage regulations to help Fannie Mae and a drug-maker under congressional scrutiny for withholding life-saving drugs from dying patients, among other clients.” Klain also served as general counsel for an investment firm called “Revolution.”

Steve Ricchetti will be counselor to the president; he has represented a wide variety of America’s biggest companies: “After the Clintons left the White House, Ricchetti fully cashed out, building Ricchetti Inc. with his brother. Armed with a long rolodex, the brothers grabbed a large slice of corporate America as clients, including AT&T, General Motors, defense contractor United Technologies, the American Council of Life Insurers, and the American Bankers Association. But health care was always a large part of the business, with multiple drug companies, insurance associations, and hospital trade groups signing on.”

Dana Remus will also be counsel to the president. She previously clerked for U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Samuel Alito.

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon will be chief of staff for Jill Biden. She is partner at the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn; the firm has represented pharmaceutical companies, Verizon, nursing-home company Omnicare, the New York Stock Exchange, and Microsoft.

Longtime Biden consultant Mike Donilon will be a senior advisor to the president; he argued the 2020 campaign was “really about character and values as opposed to issues and ideology.” His brother Tom, the former national-security adviser to Barack Obama, is the chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute. His other brother Terry is the secretary for communications for the Archdiocese of Boston.

Annie Tomasini will be director of Oval Office operations. She previously was the senior director of state, local, and community relations at Harvard University, where she defended the university against accusations that it was only paying about half what it should under the city’s payment in lieu of taxes program.

Julie Rodriguez will be director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; she previously served as national political director and traveling chief of staff for then-Senator Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign.

I suspect corporate America looks at this team and feels a warm sense of recognition, gazing upon a lot of old friends. But you have to wonder how Bernie Sanders supporters feel about them.

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