Last year, only weeks before Ketanji Brown Jackson was announced as a Supreme Court nominee, President Biden reached out to Ben LaBolt, respected communication professional in the Democratic circle to help him with the confirmation of the first Black woman at the Supreme Court.
A year later, LaBolt is set to join the West Wing as Biden’s communications director as the President is starting his preparations for what is expected to be a tough reelection battle. Democratic strategist Lis Smith, who had served as Pete Buttigieg’s communication adviser during his 2020 presidential campaign, noted that LaBolt knows about “the art of trench warfare” and that he is the kind of person you want on your team during a big fight as he “knows how to land” the last punch.
LaBolt’s selection is quite noteworthy as for the past few years Biden has been surrounded by a relatively small circle of influences. Most importantly, LaBolt is commonly known in the political sphere as the “Obama guy.”This is because he had originally started off as a communications aide for Obama before then assisting with Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and then landing in Obama’s White House press shop. He was also prominent during Obama’s reelection campaign and has made a number of appearances in the media.
One Democratic strategist noted that bringing LaBolt in shows the President’s seriousness in how he will handle his reelection campaign.
LaBolt is set to start work on March 1, while Biden is still preparing for his reelection campaign announcement.