Whatever happened to not messing with a streak? After a shocking turnaround over the last two weeks, one might have thought that Joe Biden’s campaign leadership felt pretty good about its job security. Think again, the Washington Post reports — Biden just cashiered his campaign manager.
Crash Davis could not be reached for comment (slightly NSFW):
Out is Biden’s original campaign manager Greg Schultz, as well as pinch hitter Anita Dunn, whose presence seemed to produce good results. Instead, an old Barack Obama hand will take the rudder. The reason? The same Democratic establishment closing ranks around Biden to run the country don’t trust his judgment on putting together an effective campaign staff:
Former vice president Joe Biden has named Jen O’Malley Dillon as his new campaign manager, a major shake-up that comes as the party’s leading candidate plans an organizational expansion to prepare for the general election, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The move is intended to quell concerns raised in recent weeks by senior Democratic strategists about the leadership structure of the Biden campaign, which has been beset by underwhelming fundraising, scant staffing resources and organizational miscues during the early nominating contests.
The campaign shuffle is an acknowledgment that while Biden has had a remarkable recent run of victories — at least 15 of the past 21 contests — his operation was not up to the challenge posed by President Trump if Biden wins the nomination.
That’s hardly a vote of confidence in Biden as a candidate, let alone as a commander in chief. It’s not as if Biden’s some newbie around presidential campaigns or presidencies, either. He served two terms as Obama’s VP, worked on both of his election campaigns, and ran two others of his own. If Biden’s not up to the organizational challenge of putting together an effective campaign staff after all this time, just what kind of president will he make?
In fact, Politico reports, rumblings around the campfire are that Schultz is being demoted as a way to deflect questions about Biden’s judgment and skill level:
While the timing of the news was a surprise to allies of the campaign, the replacement of Schultz wasn’t. The campaign had been beset with operational problems in the early stages, from poor fundraising to ground-game stumbles that led to big defeats in the first three early states.
Some within the campaign questioned the pressure to blame Biden’s string of poor early state showings on the campaign manager instead of the candidate, whose lackluster debate performances and speeches haunted him in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two early states where retail politics is a must.
Complicating Schultz‘s job, Biden was less inclined to listen to him than his chief adviser, Anita Dunn. Dunn took over some of the campaign’s operations from Schultz before the New Hampshire primary and is now set to return as Biden’s senior adviser.
Just what did Biden do to win these states, anyway? Thus far, the more compelling explanation is that Biden’s been the fortunate candidate left standing as Bernie Sanders collapsed. If so, then perhaps — perhaps — Schultz needs to be replaced. However, Schultz wasn’t the one on debate stages doing nothing much special to advance his candidacy, nor was he the one sticking his feet into Biden’s mouth. Biden managed all that on his own, and changing campaign managers won’t fix those problems, either.
Biden gave a speech about the coronavirus pandemic earlier today, much of which was only notable for its recitation of mundanities. However, Biden did announce a “re-imagining” of his future campaign events that would avoid crowd contacts and ‘hugs.’ Good luck with the latter, Ms. O’Malley Dillon, but the former haven’t exactly been a big issue for Uncle Joe anyway.
Joe Biden says his campaign is “re-imagining the format” for campaign events “and will continue to assess and adjust how we conduct our campaign as we move forward and find new ways to share our message with the public.” https://t.co/9LfGDTuD3J pic.twitter.com/4b4XipzThq
— ABC News (@ABC) March 12, 2020