White House communications director Kate Bedingfield stepping down

(WASHINGTON) — White House communications director Kate Bedingfield is departing the administration at the end of this month — halfway into President Joe Biden’s term and just ahead of a possible reelection campaign.

Bedingfield has held the role since his inauguration. Prior to that, she served as Biden’s deputy campaign manager for his 2020 run and served in various communications roles in the Obama administration.

The White House, in announcing Bedingfield’s departure, said she “played an integral role in the successes of the first two years of the Biden-Harris Administration, from the American Rescue Plan through the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Biden called her a “loyal and trusted adviser, through thick and thin.”

“She was a critical strategic voice from the very first day of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a key part of advancing my agenda in the White House,” he said. “The country is better off as a result of her hard work and I’m so grateful to her — and to her husband and two young children — for giving so much.”

Bedingfield was set to leave the Biden administration last summer but decided to stay on in her role, saying at the time the “work is too important and too energizing and I have a lot of gas left in the tank.”

She will be replaced by Ben LaBolt, a former adviser to President Barack Obama.

Bedingfield’s exit comes on the heels of Biden’s longtime chief of staff Ron Klain leaving the administration. Klain was a senior adviser on Biden’s 2020 campaign, and the two had a decades-long working relationship that dated back to Biden’s time in the Senate.

Klain officially ended his time as chief of staff last week, and was sent off with cheers from White House staff gathered outside the West Wing.

Before he left, Klain gave a nod to a potential reelection campaign by Biden.

“I look forward to being on your side when you run for president in 2024,” Klain said to applause at a transition ceremony earlier this month.

Biden is expected to soon announce whether he will seek a second term. The president told reporters on Thursday he intends to run, but is “just not ready” to make the final decision.

In his State of the Union address earlier this week, Biden touted his accomplishments as he called on Congress to “finish the job” on remaining priorities such as police reform, gun control and more.

The administration has also been on a post-State of the Union “blitz” with Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Cabinet officials visiting 22 states, according to the White House.

But in the lead-up to a possible 2024 announcement, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found many Democratic voters were apathetic about seeing Biden run again. Nearly six in 10 Democratic-aligned adults don’t want to see Biden renominated.

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