Joe Biden Sets Up White House Transition Team

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a full crowd during the Joe Biden Campaign Rally at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kyle Rivas / Getty Images

The Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden has begun forming a White House transition team, Reuters reported on Saturday.

Former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, a longtime Biden adviser, will be in charge of overseeing the transition if Biden beats President Donald Trump in November.

“No one will have taken office facing such daunting obstacles since Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” Kaufman said in a statement, adding that Biden will be ready to run the country “the day he is sworn in as president.”

As Reuters noted, Yohannes Abraham, who served in former President Barack Obama’s White House, will handle the day-to-day operations. Former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines is also a member of the transition team.

Per CNN, a number of Democratic operatives are expected to join Biden’s transition team in the coming weeks. Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s chief of staff Gautam Raghavan, former Congressional Hispanic Caucus Executive Director Angela Ramirez, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s economic adviser Julie Siegel have all been recruited for various positions.

In a statement supplied to CNN, Kaufman said that Biden’s team is still in “the very early stages of pre-transition planning.” He noted that the former vice president will hire a diverse team of competent political operatives.

“Vice President Biden’s transition — like his Administration to follow — will prioritize the following core values: diversity of ideology and background; talent to address society’s most complex challenges; integrity and the highest ethical standards to serve the American people and not special interests; and transparency to enable trust and visibility at every stage.”

According to an aide familiar with the process, Biden’s transition team will be expanded this fall. The aide also pointed out that major party nominees usually set up transition teams months before Election Day.

Biden has been running a low-profile campaign, letting Trump take the spotlight as the country deals with the devastating coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests. Republicans are reportedly alarmed by Trump’s standing in the polls and believe that Biden’s strategy is working.

According to latest polling, Trump has lost ground with key voting blocs, including Independent voters, suburban voters and white evangelicals. A Fox News survey released earlier this week put Biden 12 points ahead of Trump nationwide.

The Democrat has surpassed Trump in fundraising as well. In May, Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $80.8 million, while their Republican counterparts raised $74 million. Biden’s team is reportedly looking to invest some of that money in social media advertisements in order to generate grassroots donations.