Fueling presidential speculation, Vice President Joe Biden has tapped a former spokeswoman for John Edwards’ failed 2008 presidential campaign to be his new communications director.
According to the Associated Press, the White House announced Monday that Kate Bedingfield has left a position at the Motion Picture Association of America to become Biden’s communications director.
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Bedingfield served as vice president of corporate communications and spokeswoman for the film industry trade association. Previously, she worked in senior media positions in the Obama White House and the office of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.).
During her time on the Edwards campaign, Bedingfield was tasked with thwarting campaign-trail attacks on the presidential hopeful as well as criticizing his opponents, which included then-Sen. Barack Obama and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
While Edwards was ultimately unsuccessful in attaining the 2008 Democratic nomination, he did deal a blow to Clinton in the Iowa Democratic caucuses by coming in second behind Obama.
Bedingfield’s position is expected to cover Biden’s official activities as vice president and not any possible preparations for a presidential campaign, as the White House exercises restrictions on officials’ engagement in political activity.
Nevertheless, the hire will likely fuel speculation surrounding a possible Biden White House run. Biden has discussed launching a bid for president in 2016 with political advisers and has also reached out to longtime donors, though he has yet to make a decision on the subject.
In general, American voters believe that Biden would make a better commander in chief than Clinton, according to polling released earlier this month.
The vice president also took an unexpected two-hour meeting over the weekend with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who has yet to endorse a candidate for president. The two reportedly discussed economic policy.
Biden introduced Bedingfield as a "key adviser to me, a terrific asset to our office, and an important member of the entire White House organization" in a statement Monday, which will mark the new hire’s first day.