Biden campaign hired former Bill Clinton, Obama speechwriter after first debate

Biden campaign hired former Bill Clinton, Obama speechwriter after first debate
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Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Moulton says Biden would make 'fantastic president' MORE’s presidential campaign hired a longtime Democratic speechwriter who worked with former Presidents Clinton and Obama the day after a rocky performance at the first Democratic primary debate last month.

The campaign wrote a check for just over $5,300 on June 28 to Sheehan Associates for “strategic consulting” services, according to the Biden team’s second quarter Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing.

The firm is run by Michael Sheehan, who helped Clinton with his debate and speech preparations during his two White House bids and Obama ahead of his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, which helped launch him to national prominence. 

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“Michael has coached more Presidents, Vice Presidents, First Ladies, Cabinet Secretaries, Governors, Mayors and Members of Congress than anyone else in the country,” the Sheehan Associates website says.

It was not immediately clear if Sheehan had advised Biden before the debate or for how long his services had been retained. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for guidance.

CNBC was the first to report the payment to Sheehan.

The former vice president was hammered at June’s debate by Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate MORE (D-Calif.) over comments he made praising his ability to work with two segregationist senators while in Congress and his past opposition to federally mandating school busing as a method of integrating schools. 

His lead shrank in several post-debate primary polls as Harris soared, indicating the exchange made at least a temporary dent in his status as the clear front-runner.

Biden’s FEC filings from his 2008 presidential run show his campaign wrote a $6,500 check for “consultant-communications” eight days before a primary debate in April 2007 in South Carolina. The former vice president dropped out of that race less than a year later. 

Biden’s campaign raised over $22 million in the second quarter of this year and spent $11 million, finishing the period with $10 million in cash on hand.