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Biden set to name Julie Chavez Rodriguez as 2024 campaign manager

Biden expected to announce 2024 campaign soon
Biden expected to announce reelection campaign soon 01:51

President Biden is set to name Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a senior West Wing official and longtime Democratic Party activist, to manage his reelection campaign, three people familiar with the ongoing deliberations tell CBS News.

Chavez Rodriguez currently serves as a senior adviser and assistant to the president — among the highest staff positions in the West Wing — and director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, which makes her responsible for outreach to mayors, county executives and governors, especially regarding the implementation of the Biden administration's agenda and in response to natural or other large-scale disasters.

Those familiar with the ongoing deliberations about the reelection campaign said Sunday that several key staffing and operational decisions remain to be made and that while the campaign is expected to launch with a video message on Tuesday, the date could slide if these key appointments are not yet made.  

The president has been spending the weekend at Camp David with First Lady Jill Biden and other senior aides sorting out the finishing touches of the campaign.

The White House and Democratic National Committee did not respond to requests for comment. Chavez Rodriguez did not respond to requests for comment. 

If the president announces his re-election campaign on Tuesday as expected, it will surprise many DNC officials and other party activists who had begun to anticipate an announcement over the summer. These leaders and activists had been led to believe the president was in no rush because of the ongoing squabbling among GOP presidential contenders and the lack of a serious Democratic primary challenger.

Instead, there has been a mad rush to prepare for a Tuesday launch. The campaign launch video was still being edited as of late last week, according to one person familiar with the planning.

Once tapped for the role by Mr. Biden, Chavez Rodriguez is poised to run day-to-day operations from campaign headquarters, which will be either in the president's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, or nearby Philadelphia, where he based his 2020 campaign, according to the people familiar with the coordination. 

But the big-picture, strategic decisions and coordination of the president's official and campaign schedules are still expected to be crafted mostly by a group of senior aides who are likely to split their time between the White House and campaign duties. That group includes others who officially serve as senior advisers and assistants to the president — Mike Donilon, Anita Dunn, Bruce Reed and Steve Ricchetti — plus Chief of Staff Jeffrey D. Zients, and deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, who managed the 2020 campaign. 

Other outside advisers are expected to include former chief of staff Ron Klain and former White House communications director Kate Bedingfield and, as always, the president's sister and longest-serving political adviser, Valerie Biden Owens. The president's sister accompanied him on his recent trip to Ireland. 

But, as CBS News has previously noted, "at the end of the day, it'll be Anita running the show," according to one person familiar with the ongoing talks. That's a reference to Dunn, whose current portfolio includes policy, messaging and political duties, and who was heavily involved in the 2020 campaign.  

Donilon is also expected to take a leading role, especially on advertising and messaging. He helped craft Mr. Biden's essay in The Atlantic in response to the 2017 White supremacist rally in Charlottesville that spoke about the battle "for the soul of the nation," a premise that served as the focus of his 2020 bid. Reed and Ricchetti have worked alongside Mr. Biden for decades and remain trusted confidants eager to help shape the president's final campaign.

Chavez Rodriguez is currently the senior-most Latino official in the West Wing and one of just a few Latinas to ever climb that high on a presidential staff in either party. Chavez Rodriguez also worked for then-Sen. Kamala Harris's 2020 presidential bid, giving her a key connection to the vice president, whose profile has been increasing in recent weeks, with a focus especially on the fight over the future of abortion rights.

Chavez Rodriguez is the granddaughter of Cesar Chavez, the labor and civil rights leader. Mr. Biden memorializes Chavez in the Oval Office by prominently displaying a bust of him. This year, a variety of rose named after the labor leader is also blooming in the White House Rose Garden.

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