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Anita Dunn speak onstage at 'Women Rule: The L.A. Summit' at NeueHouse Hollywood on June 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Veteran communications and campaign strategist Anita Dunn will join Joe Biden's White House on a temporary basis, helping him to advance his opening agenda from inside the West Wing, people familiar with the plans tell Axios.

The big picture: Dunn, a former communications director to President Barack Obama, took on an expanded role in Biden's campaign when it faltered last winter, helping guide it through a party nomination and general election victory.

  • She'll work closely with Kate Bedingfield, who'll be White House communications director, and press secretary Jen Psaki.
  • As a senior adviser, Dunn also will play a key role in coordinating issues across the White House, much as she did during the campaign and as co-chair of Biden’s transition.
  • Dunn played a key role in overseeing strategy and personnel during the campaign and was involved in debate preparation along with her husband, Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel.
  • Dunn had planned to return to her public affairs and political consulting firm, SKDKnickerbocker and still intends to do so later this year.

Between the lines: Most of Biden's top campaign aides and longtime advisers will come into the White House with him, at least for the opening months, as he seeks to heal a nation that's deeply divided in the midst of a devastating pandemic.

  • Chief of staff Ron Klain first worked for Senator Biden in the late 1980s.
  • Bruce Reed, who'll be deputy chief of staff, was a chief of staff to Vice President Biden.
  • Longtime confidants Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon also will occupy crucial West Wing roles.

The bottom line: While Biden's Cabinet must run the gauntlet through Senate confirmations, he's stocking the White House with battle-tested advisers who can be up and running on Jan. 20.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mark Meadows' new gig

Mark Meadows at a Make America Great Again rally in October. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is joining the Conservative Partnership Institute, a group run by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint that operates as a "networking hub" for conservatives, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

Between the lines: Meadows, who is still in frequent contact with former President Trump and has been advising him ahead of his impeachment trial, will now operate behind the scenes to help create more members like Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley — conservative firebrands with strong networks and staffs.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. and NATO answer Putin in writing while bracing for Ukraine invasion

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday to advance a "diplomatic path forward," even as they warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.

Why it matters: This is a delicate diplomatic balancing act. The U.S. and NATO want to show they're serious about diplomacy but unwilling to compromise on "core principles" — all without providing Vladimir Putin with an additional pretext for escalation.

The political leanings of the Supreme Court justices

Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Supreme Court will continue to have a solid conservative majority even with Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn, known as the Martin-Quinn Score, places judges on an ideological spectrum. A lower score indicates a more liberal justice, whereas a higher score indicates a more conservative justice.