May 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden eyes Anthony Foxx for top White House role

Anthony Foxx is seen at a lectern.

Anthony Foxx. Photo: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden is considering former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to replace Cedric Richmond as the head of the White House Office of Public Engagement, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: In Foxx, the Black former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, Biden would be ensuring he has someone from a vital minority group — and with a seasoned political antenna — in his inner circle ahead of this fall's midterms.

  • Biden relied on Richmond, a former congressman from Louisiana and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, to look around political corners, engage with the Black community and help manage the interest groups making up the broader Democratic coalition.
  • Foxx served as President Obama’s second Transportation secretary and post-administration, got to know Biden better as a member of the Biden Institute Policy Advisory Board.
  • He later joined Lyft, the ride-sharing company, as its chief policy officer. He stepped down in October, Politico reported.
  • A final decision hasn't been made, according to a White House official. Richmond is planning to leave this month, according to the New York Times.
  • Foxx declined comment.

The big picture: As the White House shifts into campaign mode ahead of the midterms, the president and his team know they need every element of his 2020 coalition engaged if they hope to keep control of Congress.

  • The potential repeal of Roe v. Wade could mobilize groups, like young people and women, whose support for the president has waned over his first 16 months in office.
  • Democrats also will need strong support from Black voters if their Senate candidates are to prevail in Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
  • With Republicans focusing on crime, immigration and inflation, there are signs Hispanic voters are moving away from the Democratic Party.

Driving the news: With the midterms six months out, some senior White House officials are using this spring to announce their departures, giving the president plenty of time to assemble his team ahead of Election Day.

Go deeper: Biden is also eager to hit the road to campaign for endangered Democrats.

  • In addition, he plans to raise money for the Democratic National Committee.
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