Why Some Democrats Worry About the Whiteness of Biden´s Inner Circle

Politics 2020/6/5

Why Some Democrats Worry About the Whiteness of Biden´s Inner Circle

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, speaks at City Hall in Philadelphia, June 2, 2020. (Mark Makela/The New York Times)

Nearly five years ago, Joe Biden gathered his closest advisers to decide whether he would run for president in 2016. This was a “final judgment” meeting, as he would later describe it in his memoir, and around the room were Biden’s family and more than a half-dozen of his most trusted confidants.

It was his innermost circle. Everyone was white.

Biden won the 2020 Democratic primary on the strength of a multiracial political coalition anchored by black voters who overwhelmingly rallied behind him, and he has pledged to build a diverse administration as president. But while some black advisers have cracked Biden’s upper echelon and his team is racing to expand, the people setting strategy still skew heavily white, with limited Latino and even less Asian American representation.

In recent days, as protests erupted over the death of George Floyd after being pinned down by Minneapolis police officers, Biden has moved to forge even stronger ties to black Americans, presenting himself as a healing force in the country’s searing debate over race. He has delivered two addresses acknowledging the pain and suffering of African Americans, drawing a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump’s belligerent response.

But the fear is that a lack of diverse viewpoints in Biden’s brain trust could come with a long-term cost: a misinterpretation that boiling anger at Trump equates to excitement for Biden; insufficient outreach to minority groups; and — perhaps most worrisome of all — the possibil

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