Wink, wink. White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield is the next person leaving her position with Team Biden. The rush to the exits began with Kamala’s staff resignations and has now spilled over into Biden’s White House staff. Bedingfield’s resignation is an interesting one, given it is yet another person leaving the communication operation. In her case, she’s the director of the department.
It’s telling that Joe Biden hasn’t released a glowing statement about Bedingfield’s time in her position, as I write this, as he immediately did when Jen Psaki left. Psaki probably wrote the statement for Biden herself, come to think of it. Bedingfield’s departure is a high-profile one. She has been with Biden since the beginning of his term in office and before that, as a senior official on his presidential campaign. She’s seen as a key figure in developing Biden’s communications and campaign strategy. Ironically, this may be the reason she’s leaving – the communication efforts coming from the White House have been an epic fail since the beginning of his term in office. Psaki grew into her way of handling press briefings and reporters but recent reports are that Biden is really irritated about how he is covered by the press. Apparently, he thinks his communications shop has dropped the ball.
So, after three and a half years on the job with Biden, she’s leaving. She plans to leave this summer, perhaps in a few weeks.
Bedingfield worked as chief spokesperson for the Motion Picture Association after the Obama administration, during the Trump years. She became Biden’s communications director when he was vice president in the Obama years. She joined Biden’s presidential campaign as deputy campaign manager for communications. That was an easy gig, considering he campaigned from his basement in Delaware for most of the his run for president.
Ron Klain had nothing but good words for Bedingfield.
Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, said in a statement, “Without Kate Bedingfield’s talent and tenacity, Donald Trump might still be in the White House, the Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Law might still be unrealized goals, and Kentaji Brown Jackson might not be sitting on the Supreme Court.
Klain added, “She has played a huge role in everything the President has achieved – from his second term as Vice President, through the campaign, and since coming to the White House. Her strategic acumen, intense devotion to the President’s agenda, and fierce work on his behalf are unmatched. She will continue to remain a critical player in moving the Biden agenda forward from the outside.”
Sounds like she will help craft the Biden agenda’s message after she leaves. Biden needs all the help he can get. His poll numbers continue to drop and his list of crises continue to grow. She is known for her role in debate prep and finesses television appearance for Biden.
Bedingfield has played a major role in preparing Biden for debates and TV appearances. She also helped organize high profile endorsements in advance of Super Tuesday, when Biden scored unexpected, come-from-behind victories that led to him securing the Democratic nomination. Bedingfield also has served as a defender of Biden in TV appearances, and is said to be one of his trusted advisers who has a strong sense of his voice.
Anita Dunn is supposed to have been brought on to help out in the White House communications shop. Many people assumed that Bedingfield would take Psaki’s place when she left but instead Karine Jean-Pierre got the gig. That was an unfortunate choice to follow Psaki. John Kirby had to be brought over to the White House from the Pentagon in order to help KJP who is woefully out of her league. Biden cared more about checking boxes than filling the position with an experienced professional.
The writing is on the wall. The midterm elections are going to be brutal for Democrats and Biden will essentially become a lame duck president, especially if Republicans win back the Senate besides the House. Mid-level and low-level staffers have been leaving the last two months.