Relying on his gut, Biden shrugs off criticism to form a "cabinet of firsts"

From the outside, advocates, groups and members of Congress can find his process cryptic and unpredictable as they attempt to discern which directions Biden and his small core of advisers are leaning, only to find out that he has abruptly switched course. Some nominations have been rushed much quicker than expected, while other decisions have lingered, creating some frustration even among allies. Proponents of demographic and ideological diversity have complained that he has vested too much power in more moderate White officials like himself.

But Biden, in what was a defining feature of his campaign, has largely shrugged off the criticism, confident in his own approach to what he sees as a gut-check decision-making process. Lately he has become more animated in defending some of the choices that his internal deliberations have yielded, urging those on the outside to take his full Cabinet into consideration…

While Harris’s role is still undefined and the her imprint on the choices of the nominees is so far unapparent, she has been involved in almost every discussion as Biden makes decisions on his administration, according to people involved in the process.

“She is the first and last in the room. He is asking her input and her feedback,” said a person involved in the transition. “That’s the partnership Biden had with Obama, and as Harris wanted with Biden . . . He wants her feedback.”