It seems that former Vice President Joe Biden is ready to move onto a new stage of his campaign: the general election.
According to people close to his team, Biden has decided to restructure his strategy, moving from senior adviser Anita Dunn, to now put his campaign in the hands of Jen O’Malley Dillon, a Democratic political campaign strategist best known for her involvement in former President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.
“The move is intended to quell concerns raised in recent weeks by senior Democratic strategists about the leadership structure of the Biden campaign, which has been beset by underwhelming fundraising, scant staffing resources and organizational miscues during the early nominating contests,” the Washington Post explained.
After his overwhelming victory last Tuesday in the primaries in Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi, everything seems to indicate that Biden will be the Democratic nominee to face Donald Trump next November, and that new phase doesn’t come without new challenges.
Only the coronavirus pandemic has hampered the candidates’ ability to campaign and gain one last push. As Vox explained, “The outbreak is that serious, with public health experts emphasizing how important social distancing efforts can be to mitigate the virus’s spread. And Sanders and Biden (along with Trump) are squarely in the most vulnerable demographic, all over 70.”
In addition, insufficient fundraising, scarce staff resources, and “organizational mistakes” have been a source of concern for Democratic strategists, who have placed all their hopes in Biden’s ability to beat Trump in November.
That’s where the role of Jen O’Malley Dillon comes in.
With more than 20 years of experience in the political field, O’Malley Dillon first joined campaign organizing with Al Gore’s team in 2000 as a field organizer, rising to regional director by the end of the campaign.
Her experience includes the Senate campaigns of Democrats such as Tim Johnson, Mary Landrieu, John Edwards, and Tom Daschle. In 2008, O’Malley Dillon joined the Obama For America campaign as a battleground states director, and once the election was won she was part of the transition team.
After working as executive director at the Democratic National Committee, she rejoined Obama for the 2011 reelection campaign as deputy campaign manager and founded the political consulting firm Precision Strategies.
In recent years, following Donald Trump’s 2016 victory, O’Malley Dillon served as chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission, assisted with political staffing and data initiatives for the party, and in 2019 was hired as campaign manager for candidate Beto O’Rourke.
The Democratic establishment hopes that her experience can undermine doubts about the leadership structure in the Biden campaign once it moves to the general election stage.