Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has been on a hiring spree, appointing a new states director and deputy, reports POLITICO.
In the former vice-president’s race to the White House, the position of states director with special emphasis on battleground states has been awarded to Jenn Ridder, who managed the presidential campaign of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Ridder also previously enjoyed success during Jared Polis’ campaign for Colorado Governor.
At tonight's Colorado Democrats election rally were Democratic gubernatorial candidates @MikeJohnstonCO & @DonnaLynneCO, who both spoke how ready they are to fight for @jaredpolis, who's in DC, pushing through an immigrant bill, but whose great campaign manager Jenn Ridder spoke. pic.twitter.com/VwOTB6ubFj— Preemie Maboroshi (@PreemiMaboroshi) June 29, 2018
Biden campaign Super Tuesday States director Molly Ritner, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee veteran, will now be Biden’s deputy states director.
Ritner had spearheaded Biden’s Super Tuesday wins ranging from Virginia through to Texas.
Announcements of the Biden camp boosting its senior staff and enhancing digital operations came amid earlier concerns voiced by some Democrats that the former vice-president’s campaign might be impacted by the fact he was not on the campaign trail in person or hiring quickly enough. These fears were brushed aside by Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, with an adviser quoted as saying:
“The standards and timing from past elections cycles are irrelevant — no one has ever staffed a presidential campaign during a public health crisis of this magnitude. We’re being thoughtful and deliberate about hiring.”
The current bout of hiring is perceived as demonstrating that the campaign is being ramped up under its new manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, who took over just as the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns brought along with it wrought necessary changes to the traditional routine.
O’Malley Dillon was faced with the need to reinvent the campaign to be totally virtual, as Democratic group Organizing Together 2020 was busy building up staff in battleground states that Biden could potentially take over in June.
“I can understand why the campaign is waiting, but at the same time to not have a senior adviser and state director in a place like Wisconsin as soon as possible is effin’ bananas, considering what happened in 2016,” a top Wisconsin Democratic strategist was quoted as cautioning.
The campaign was reported as suggesting the hiring had been done when needed, with Biden having secured the Democratic nomination earlier than Barack Obama in 2008 or Hillary Clinton in 2016, and thus offering a time advantage.
“The bedwetters are doing their thing because it’s the season for double-guessing… But the fact of the matter is: Biden has won precisely because he’s ignored those people,” said a Democratic consultant advising one of the pro-Biden outside groups.
With the US presidential election less than six months away, and Donald Trump resuming travel, visiting a battleground state as he inspected an Arizona plant manufacturing medical masks in his first cross-country trip since coronavirus restrictions were set in place, former Obama advisers David Plouffe and David Axelrod issued a warning last week addressed to the Joe Biden camp.
In last week’s New York Times op-ed they argued that Biden, 77, who has been in self-quarantine at home for around two months, was in danger of losing momentum, as “online speeches from his basement won’t cut it.”
Currently, Biden is marginally leading President Donald Trump in recent polls of five of the six battleground states: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona, reports the outlet, with Trump wielding a slim advantage in North Carolina.
In a head-to-head matchup, a recent Monmouth University poll showed Biden leading Trump 50 per cent – 41 per cent, yet experts warn the “campaign-via-basement” strategy might yet be put to the test.