Joe Biden’s Secret Muse – POLITICO

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Welcome to the POLITICO West Wing Playbook, your guide to the people and power centers of the Biden administration. With Allie Bice.

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In JOE BIDEN ‘In the Senate office, new hires would sometimes receive a book to help them understand their new boss.

“What’s needed,” RICHARD BEN CRAMERIt’s voluminous on the 1988 presidential campaign, has long been regarded by Biden himself as the most insightful writing on what motivates him.

“It is a powerful thing to read a book that someone has written about you, and to find both the observations and the criticisms so sharp and insightful that you learn something new and significant about yourself.” Biden said in 2013 after Cramer’s death (he also spoke at his funeral). Others in Biden’s orbit agreed with this assessment.

So, around 2006, when Biden was looking for someone to help him write a memoir before a presidential race, he chose Cramer’s researcher, MARK ZWONITZER. The book, “Promises to Keep,” followed Biden’s life, but was also a story about the evolution of the Senate during his time there.

Biden turned to Zwonitzer again in late 2015, having decided not to run for president and was considering his post-vice-presidential legacy. Together they wrote a second memoir, “Promise Me Dad”.

This writing process over the next year ended up being part of Biden’s mourning for his son. BEAUTIFUL, who died in 2015, according to people familiar with the dynamics. “I think it helped him understand the meaning of it all and come out on the other side – a bit of how to put one foot in front of the other,” one person said.

And it helped Zwonitzer form an intimate bond with Biden that made him one of the most knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to the 46th President’s questions. “I trust him for my life,” Biden said of Zwonitzer in an interview with MIKE BARNICLE for the Audible version of “Promise Me, Dad”.

When documentary filmmaker DAVIS GUGGENHEIM was working on a video for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, he called Zwonitzer to help better understand Biden, according to a source with direct knowledge of the project. A representative from Guggenheim did not respond to comments.

“He saw Joe Biden in a way that no one outside his family saw, except maybe [longtime Biden aide] TED [KAUFMAN]“said an official who saw Biden and Zwonitzer working together.

Zwonitzer, who declined to comment for this article, is more of Biden’s friend than a political negro. He has worked as a screenwriter and director for several PBS documentaries and has written a book on MARK TWAIN, former secretary of state JEAN HAY, and the rise of US imperialism at the end of the 19th century.

He largely stayed away from the 2020 campaign and also kept his distance from the White House, according to sources. In addition to helping with the DNC video, he joined Biden for a one-day car ride in New Hampshire last year during the primary.

But Zwonitzer is still considered one of the few people Biden trusts to make his voice heard. “You can count on one hand the people I think Joe Biden would give an A-plus rating for writing,” said a confidant of the Biden world, who placed Zwonitzer alongside the adviser. MIKE DONILON and longtime help MARC GITENSTEIN (which helped establish the Zwonitzer relationship in the mid-2000s).

“It’s just very hard, it’s a very hard leveler, isn’t it?”

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Which president lost his sight in one eye after boxing in the White House?

(Answer below.)

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FIRST WEST WING PLAYBOOK – SARAH GOUDA quitting his job as assistant speechwriter for the vice president KAMALA HARRIS, a person familiar with the case said DANIEL LIPPMAN. She is a former director of Fenway Strategies and has also served as a speechwriter for the president of Planned Parenthood. His last day is Friday. She returns to New York and returns to Brooklyn College to resume her MFA in Writing Fiction.

WHAT LA MAISON BLANCHE WANTS TO READ: October’s good jobs news reports the White House was anxious to get – nonfarm payrolls increased by 531,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, the US Department reported on Friday. Job.

White House Director of Rapid Response MIKE GWIN tweeted this to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee RONNA McDANIEL, who said Biden did not deserve credit for job creation: “Just a reminder, seen your sudden amnesia: When @POTUS took over from the previous administration, we generated an average of 60,000 very low-energy jobs created per month. Now we are average [sic] * 10K * with 620,000 per month, and unemployment has come down to 4.6%. It is progress.

WHAT IS THE WHITE HOUSE Is not YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ: The New York Times Editorial Board article “Democrats deny political reality at their peril,” which claims Tuesday’s election results “are a sign that significant parts of the electorate are wary of ‘a strong push to the left in the party, including on priorities like Build Back Better, which contains strong provisions and discretionary provisions that drive up the price. ”

Twitter blew up this article. Self-proclaimed Washington insider and podcast host DAVID ROTHKOPF, who shares a Twitter bromance with Biden’s chief of staff RON KLAIN, opinion in a long thread how the Times is wrong and Biden is on the right track. Washington Post columnist and White House favorite JENNIFER RUBIN answered him: “exactly, this is absolutely not supported by the available evidence.”

The White House responded to the Times article in tweet the editorial board’s own words, including their approval last year, which touted its economic stimulus package and its Build Back Better program.

“DECORUM PLEASE”: There was a bit of awkwardness in the White House briefing today as EWTN correspondent OWEN JENSEN repeatedly tried to shout a question about the rights of the unborn child.

EUGENE DANIELS, who was in the room, sent this dispatch: Deputy Senior Press Officer KARINE JEAN PIERRE tried to ignore Jensen, moving around the room and calling other reporters as he continued to talk about her. The uproar got so loud that the president of the White House Correspondents Association STEVEN PORTNOY shouted “decorum please!”

WHCA journalists complained that Jean-Pierre and the press secretary JEN PSAKI taking too many questions from the first three rows of reporters and not enough from other reporters during briefings. The WHCA says it has spoken to the White House about it. But so far, not much has changed.

PREVENTIVE STRIKE – China’s military provocations to Taiwan and the president’s mixed messages spark debate on Capitol Hill on whether to adopt a more aggressive official posture, ANDRÉ DESIDERIO written – including the possibility of preemptively allowing Biden to use military force if Beijing invaded the island nation.

NEW HAVANA SYNDROME SLEUTH – Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN named Friday JONATHAN MOORE to serve as the new coordinator for its investigation into the cases of so-called Havana Syndrome, the mysterious directed energy attacks targeting U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers overseas, which have caused hundreds of brain damage serious. Moore will coordinate the State Department’s task force on cases, AP reported. He replaces PAMELA SPRATLEN, a retired diplomat who was temporarily recalled to service by Blinken before leaving in September.

Persons linked to Project Veritas examined in the theft of Biden’s daughter’s diary (NYT’s Michael S. Schmidt, William K. Rashbaum, Precious Fondren and Adam Goldman)

Hours after the White House released its new vaccine mandate, GOP-led states take legal action (NPR’s Jaclyn Diaz)

Inside Biden’s Transformation of How to Tackle Gun Violence (POLITICO’s Myah Ward)

He spoke on the October Jobs Report and attended the funeral of the former Secretary of State COLIN POWELL at the Washington National Cathedral.

Later tonight he plans to go to Rehoboth Beach, Del. for the weekend

She visited NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and delivered remarks regarding the National Space Council alongside the NASA Administrator. BILL NELSON.

White House advisor DANA REMUS didn’t exactly intend to work in the White House. She was a law professor in 2015 when Obama White House Counsel NEIL EGGLESTON contacted her for the position of Chief Ethics Counselor.

Remus was thrilled to be considered, but knew it was an opportunity she couldn’t seize with her academic duties, she said in an interview with alumni from St. Paul.

“I left a little sad that there was no way I could do it, but delighted to have been in the West Wing for the first time and to have met the White House attorney.” , she said. Eggleston, however, was determined to make it work and kept the job open for her until she could start the gig around Thanksgiving, and Cornell let her teach on a condensed schedule so she could join. administration.

“I was going to be here for the last 14 months of the Obama administration and had every intention of going back to academia,” but of course she stayed. “One thing led to another… when I had to decide whether I would quit my tenure as a permanent teacher, give up my term or go back, I decided to stay.

Former president THEODORE ROOSEVELT lost some of the sight in his left eye after a boxing match at the White House. Boxing was a hobby, but after the incident he switched to jiu-jit-su, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Edited by Emily Cadei



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