Biden assembling White House transition team
Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he’s begun assembling a White House transition team so he’ll be able to staff up quickly in the event that he defeats President Trump in the 2020 election.
Speaking at a digital fundraiser hosted by Jed Katz, the managing director of Javelin Partners, Biden said he first started putting together a transition team shortly after his string of primary victories on Super Tuesday in early March.
“I promise you that has already begun,” Biden said. “Sounds presumptuous. I don’t want to say we started thinking about it a month ago, we did, because that sounds like I was certain this was going to happen that I would be the nominee. I don’t want it to sound like that, but it has to happen and that’s why the transition team is already being put together.”
The transition team will play a role in guiding Biden’s appointments to his Cabinet and to lead the government agencies.
The former vice president did not give any indications about who was on the transition team or whom he’s considering for top-level roles within his potential administration.
However, Biden said that he’s considering elevating several White House offices to Cabinet-level positions, singling out the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a global health security pandemic office and a potential climate change-focused role that “goes beyond the EPA.”
The former vice president said he might announce some of his Cabinet level picks before the election, and that he would take the advice given to him by former President Obama to surround himself with people who “know more than you know.”
Biden also said he would consider Republicans for some top level positions within his administration.
“One advantage of being around a long time is you get to know an awful lot of people. In the private sector, in the public sector, people who are committed — first and foremost — are thoroughly honorable,” he said.
“I have had literally several hundred serious, serious players who have been held positions in every department in the federal government who have said, including some Republicans, who have said if you win, I want to come back. I’m ready to serve,” he added.