Biden already working with team on transition planning

Politics
Joe Biden

FILE – In this March 15, 2020, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden, participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., not seen, at CNN Studios in Washington. This may be the best of times politically for Biden, who won three massive endorsements over the last week, none bigger than former rival Bernie Sanders. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is already working with a team to plan for his transition in preparation for winning the White House in November, he told donors during a virtual fundraiser Monday night.

Biden said he has been meeting with former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, his longtime top aide who was appointed to fill Biden’s Senate seat when he was elected vice president, to discuss his transition plans. Kaufman worked on Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008, and helped author legislation formalizing the presidential transition process.

Biden told host Penny Pritzker, who served as secretary of commerce under Obama, that he’s also “working with folks like you who, in fact, are already deciding, what do we have to do?”

“You can’t wait until you win, if you win. You’ve got to start right now,” he said.

Biden said his campaign is putting together a transition team and has received considerable “intake” from individuals, particularly from the Treasury, State and Defense departments, about a prospective Biden administration.

“People know we’re in real trouble and they’re ready to help,” Biden said.

And he said that though the Trump administration has seen an exodus of career civil servants, he’s optimistic he can bring some of those workers back.

“You’ve got to be ready on Day One to be able to start naming people to head up these Cabinet positions, sub-Cabinet positions and those appointments that are in within the departments that are career positions, and bring people back,” he said. “I think we can do it.”

The former vice president had previously said he had “several hundred serious, serious players,” including some Republicans, who have told him they’d like to return to their jobs if he wins the White House.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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