Joe Biden Begins White House Transition Before Winner Declared
Democrat nominee Biden's transition team's work already underway
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's transition team has already started work on his presumed shift to the White House, before the winner of the election has even been declared.
While the country awaited an election winner, Biden's transition team already was mapping out plans for him to become president-elect.
The team's immediate focus will be the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 230,000 Americans, according to Fox News's Jacqui Heinrich.
Ted Kaufman is leading the transition team.
Kaufman served on Biden's staff for 22 years and was appointed to fill his vacated Senate seat when he was elected vice president in 2008.
Kaufman reportedly began preparing for the job shortly after Biden locked up the Democratic nomination in April.
"All governments, especially in the post 9/11 era, are at their most vulnerable during a transfer of power," Kaufman wrote in the Delaware News Journal in 2015.
"I was keenly aware of this when I was part of the team in charge of the Obama-Biden transition in 2008.
"I realized there was not nearly enough time between an Election Day in November and an inauguration day in January to adequately prepare for a new presidency."
Former staffers for two of Biden's primary opponents, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, were laying the groundwork for a potential Biden administration, according to Fox News.
The team is also staffed with top aides from the Obama administration, such as former Deputy National Security Adviser Avril Haines and former director of the White House National Economic Council Jeffrey Zients.
The advisory board includes at least two Republicans, Cindy McCain, and former Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald.
While the team's top priority is countering the coronavirus pandemic, stimulating the economy with another relief package was also top of mind.
But Kaufman already tempered expectations about grandiose spending plans.
"When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” Kaufman told the Wall Street Journal in August.
"When you see what Trump’s done to the deficit ... forget about COVID-19, all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts.
"So we’re going to be limited.”
Biden's transition team also will be watching the remaining Senate elections closely, as 1,200 of a president's 4,000 appointees have to be approved by the upper chamber of Congress.
If Democrats get control of the Senate, potential Biden appointees could have much more leeway during hearings.