Mar 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Inside the Biden-Harris battleground blitz

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Biden and Harris during the Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate the signing of the COVID relief bill last week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

This week's seven-state swing by the first and second families is just the beginning: The White House is mapping a multi-week campaign — in red and blue states — to sell the COVID stimulus.

Why it matters: President Biden's top advisers see the $1.9 trillion relief bill, which Biden signed Thursday, as the key to solidifying his political fortunes. The bill's strong bipartisan approval ratings supply Democrats with an opportunity to bludgeon Republicans in states that will determine elections for the foreseeable future.

What we're hearing ... Team Biden has broken each day into themes emphasizing different benefits of the bill, according to an administration official familiar with the plans:

  • Today, Biden will launch what he's branding the "Help is Here" campaign with a speech at the White House. Vice President Harris and the Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will headline a launch event in Nevada. Dr. Jill Biden, a teacher, will travel to New Jersey to emphasize the impact of the bill on schools and students.
  • Tuesday's theme will be "help for small business." The president will fly to Pennsylvania, and the vice president and second gentleman will visit Colorado.
  • Wednesday — "help for schools" — will feature the first lady in New Hampshire and the second gentleman in New Mexico.
  • Thursday — "help to stay in your home" — will highlight measures in the bill to cover back rent, protect people against eviction and aid people experiencing homelessness.
  • Friday — "help immediately with direct checks" — will have Biden and Harris in Georgia.

Biden, who has yet to do a press conference as president, has granted a one-on-one interview to ABC's George Stephanopoulos, which will air Wednesday on Good Morning America.

  • Other administration officials, including Cabinet secretaries, will do regional and national interviews and events this week to further amplify the campaign, the official said.
  • Biden will tap Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council under Presidents Obama and Clinton, to oversee the implementation of the gargantuan relief package, the Washington Post first reported and Axios' Hans Nichols has confirmed.
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