Biden says he’s starting to put together a White House transition team
(CNN) — Former Vice President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he is already starting to put together a White House transition team, just days after officially becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The question was raised during a virtual fundraiser Thursday evening when Biden was asked by a donor how he would be able to replenish a number of departments that the donor said had been left “without talent” under the Trump administration, per a pool report of the event. Biden answered that the process to refill those positions is starting.
“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.”
While he said he would not announce who will be leading that transition team, he noted that it would be composed of “first-rate” people. Biden also did not rule out announcing who would be nominated for some Cabinet-level positions before the November general election.
He revealed that there are discussions about elevating certain White House offices to Cabinet-level positions, like the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the global health security pandemic office and a separate climate change focus, according to the pool report.
In Biden’s shift from a candidate running for his party’s nomination to its expected nominee, he has been able to turn his full attention to the general election. And the former vice president has not wasted any time beginning to give voters a preview of what his administration would look like.
First, he announced last month that he would select a female running mate. While he’s always said he would pick someone who is “simpatico” with his views, he also recently shared that former President Barack Obama had advised him to pick someone who “has strengths where I have weaknesses.”
Biden also previously announced that he would nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, and noted that he would fill his Cabinet with those who would reflect the country’s diversity and the wide spectrum of the party.
“There’s an enormous number of really qualified people, and one of the ways to deal with age is to build a bench … to build a bench of younger, really qualified people,” Biden told donors earlier in April at another virtual fundraiser.
The former vice president has repeatedly promised a diverse White House, saying on the campaign trail that his administration will “look like America.”