Minyon Moore, a veteran Democratic strategist and political director for former President Bill Clinton, will lead the efforts to activate outside advocacy groups in support of the nominee. Ben LaBolt, a former spokesman for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and in the White House, will lead outside communications efforts.
The duo will be joined by former Sen. Doug Jones, the Alabama Democrat who CNN reported would serve as the nominee’s “Sherpa” – a key role in shepherding the nominee through the Senate process. Jones has worked as a CNN contributor since January 2021.
The formal additions mark a key step for Biden as he moves toward an official nomination, and then pushes for Senate confirmation, in the coming weeks. Biden, like his predecessors, is bringing in outside hands in an effort to create a more robust team singularly focused on what will serve as his first opportunity to leave his mark on the nation’s highest court.
The trio brings years of experience in Democratic politics and in operating in high-stakes environments, both critical components of Supreme Court confirmation teams put together by past administrations. Jones, who represented a deeply Republican state before his 2020 election loss, is seen as a former member with relationships on both sides of the aisle.
“These advisors bring decades of experience to the table and will join the White House team working with the President on the selection of the nation’s first Black woman to the Supreme Court,” the White House said in a statement.
The three will report directly to White House counsel Dana Remus, who is playing a leading role inside the West Wing on the process. Remus, the top White House lawyer, is considered one of Biden’s primary advisers as he works through potential nominees, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff who has played a central role in nine prior Supreme Court nominations from both inside and outside the government. Cedric Richmond, senior adviser to Biden, is also playing a key role both inside the White House and working with outside groups in the lead up to the selection of the nominee.
Biden’s top legislative advisers, including Louisa Terrell, the legislative affairs director, and Reema Dodin, who runs point on Biden’s Senate outreach, are also advising Biden on the process and will play lead roles once a nominee is named.
Moore, who for years has been a sought-after adviser for Democratic officials, will officially lead efforts “to mobilize a nationwide engagement effort focused on confirmation,” according to the White House.
LaBolt, who along with his work for Obama also worked on the confirmation teams for Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, will also be a central figure in the White House messaging efforts throughout the confirmation process.
Biden has pledged to select his nominee, who will be a Black woman, this month. The White House, which quietly prepared for a potential Supreme Court opening throughout Biden’s first year, is already deeply engaged in laying the groundwork for Biden’s eventual nominee.
Biden hosted the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will oversee the nomination, in the Oval Office on Tuesday. He also spoke by phone with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican of Kentucky.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, arrived at the White House on Wednesday afternoon to meet with Biden on the issue as well.