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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.

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.