WASHINGTON — At this point in an administration, with the president’s ballot numbers in the tank and a daunting midterm election on the horizon, the usual news from staff around the White House is a list of those leaving. . But in an unusual twist, Friday’s news was that wasn’t going away after all.
After announcement in early July that she would step down, Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director and adviser to President Biden for years, abruptly changed her mind. She had reconsidered after her initial decision, colleagues said, and Mr. Biden and Ron Klain, the chief of staff, asked her to reconsider.
“After careful consideration, discussion and consideration, I have decided to stay,” Ms Bedingfield told her colleagues in an email on Friday. “I’m not done here and there’s so much more good work to do with all of you. I couldn’t be happier and more excited about this super – although admittedly it’s last minute! – development. The work is too big and too energizing and I have a lot of gas left in the tank.
The volte-face of Mrs Bedingfield, who was reported earlier by CNNcame as turnover in the West Wing picked up, though it was still nowhere near the revolving door of President Donald J. Trump’s administration.
Michael LaRosa, the press secretary for Jill Biden, the first lady, left on Friday. Others who have left in recent months include Jen Psakithe White House press secretary; Cedric Richmondsenior adviser to Mr. Biden; Dana Remus, the White House counsel; and various White House lawyers and press officers as well as advisers to Vice President Kamala Harris.
Mr Klain wanted anyone considering leaving to do so by the end of July to have a stable staff ahead of the campaign season.
It has been a time of mixed news for the president. His approval rating is dismal, and the latest data showed the economy had decreased for the second consecutive quarter, a possible indicator of a recession. But one burst of action on Capitol Hill advanced its priorities on climate change, health care, same sex marriage and industrial policyperhaps the start of a winning streak that had long eluded him.
Ms Bedingfield has been a key adviser to Mr Biden since his second term as vice president. During her presidential campaign, she was one of the craftsmen of the message of national restoration which carried her through the primaries and the legislative elections. But some Democrats have complained that the president’s message hasn’t been focused, forceful, sustained or commanding enough since he took office.
Still, a message from the president’s communicator was received Friday in the West Wing. “I’m so glad it’s not me sending you all a ‘this is my last day’ note,” Ms Bedingfield wrote in her email, “and so excited for all that’s to come.”
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