Biden names White House senior staff — and none of them are his daughter


Unlike Trump, the president-elect decided to go with experience instead of nepotism.

President-elect Joe Biden announced several members of his new White House staff on Tuesday. It's a list that looks substantially different from the many of the inexperienced or inflammatory advisers Donald Trump installed in his administration over the past four years.

Biden's choices include his campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, as deputy chief of staff. According to CNN, Dillon is the first woman to helm a successful Democratic presidential bid. She also worked on both of former President Barack Obama's campaigns as well as Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX)'s presidential primary campaign.

Biden has also named two counselors to the president: Steve Ricchetti, campaign chair and Biden's chief of staff during Obama's time in office, and Dana Remus, who served as a lawyer on the Biden campaign and as Obama's former deputy White House counsel.

Biden has also tapped campaign chief strategist Mike Donilon, former counselor to the vice president during the Obama administration, as a senior adviser, as well as Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) as both director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and senior adviser.

Richmond currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and is a junior member of House Democratic leadership as well as past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Richmond will be among the highest-ranked Black officials in Biden's White House staff.

The outlet noted that Biden said his team would "help us build back better than before."

"America faces great challenges," Biden added, "and they bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation."

Biden's selections contrast with Trump's staff during his time in office, who have often drawn criticism due to their close relation to the White House occupant, their inexperience, or their polarizing approach.

One such Trump appointment was that of his daughter Ivanka Trump to the role of senior adviser.

Prior to her role as senior adviser to the president of the United Stated, Ivanka Trump was executive vice president of the Trump Organization and a judge on her father's reality TV show, "The Apprentice."

She also founded a fashion line that has been accused of swiping its designs from other, more established designers.

She had no experience in politics prior to taking on her 2017 role as her father's senior adviser.

Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, also serves as a senior adviser to the White House occupant.

According to a CNN report, Kushner's experience includes taking over his father's real estate business, Kushner Companies, after his father pleaded guilty in 2003 to multiple counts of tax evasion, lying to the Federal Election Commission, and retaliating against a federal witness.

Kushner also cofounded Cadre, a digital investment platform for real estate and purchased Observer Media, which publishes the New York Observer.

Like his wife, Kushner has no political experience before joining the White House — another appointment that drew accusations of nepotism.

Another pick early in Trump's administration was Steve Bannon, tapped in 2016 as senior counselor to the president and chief strategist, a role he held for eight months.

Bannon's career experience is varied. It ranges from working as an investment banker to a naval officer to a Hollywood producer to the cofounder of the alt-right website Breitbart News.

Absent from his resume at the time of his appointment, however, was any experience in United States politics or government.

Other members of Trump's White House staff over the past four years, while experienced in politics, have become known for the controversies they cause.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump's former counselor to the president, has credentials including time spent as a pollster, strategist and political consultant before becoming Trump's campaign manager toward the end of his 2016 campaign.

But Conway's time in the role was mired in controversy. She coined the phrase "alternative facts" to describe Trump's lies in 2017, and the same year promoted Ivanka Trump's line of products, potentially a federal violation of ethics.

Conway also claimed former national security adviser Michael Flynn had the "full confidence" of Trump, just before his dismissal. In 2019, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel also found that Conway violated the Hatch Act more than 50 times during her time on staff, and recommended her dismissal.

Top Trump aide Stephen Miller, often considered a "rising star" among conservatives, has also engineered some of the most racist and xenophobic plans of the entire Trump administration — including the child separation policy and the Muslim ban.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows, who previously served in the House before joining the White House, has come under fire for refusing to wear a face mask while speaking to reporters, ridiculing Biden for wearing a face mask, and claiming the country's dangerous coronavirus numbers aren't Trump's fault and cannot be controlled.

Meadows recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.