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Kate Bedingfield, White House Communications Director, Decides to Stay at White House


WASHINGTON — At this point in an administration, with the president’s poll numbers within the tank and a frightening midterm election on the horizon, the standard staff news across the White Home is a roster of who’s leaving. But in an unusual twist, the news on Friday was who shouldn’t be leaving in spite of everything.

After announcing in early July that she would step down, Kate Bedingfield, the White House communications director and an adviser to President Biden for years, abruptly modified her mind. She had been nursing second thoughts after her original decision, colleagues said, and Mr. Biden and Ron Klain, the chief of staff, asked her to reconsider.

“After much thought, discussion and reflection, I’ve decided to remain,” Ms. Bedingfield told colleagues in an email on Friday. “I’m not done here and there may be so far more good work to do with all of you. I couldn’t be happier and more enthusiastic about this awesome — if admittedly last-minute! — development. The work is just too necessary and too energizing and I actually have numerous gas left within the tank.”

Ms. Bedingfield’s about-face, which was reported earlier by CNN, got here as turnover within the West Wing has picked up, even though it remains to be nowhere comparable to the revolving door of President Donald J. Trump’s administration.

Michael LaRosa, the press secretary for Jill Biden, the primary lady, left on Friday. Others who’ve departed in recent months include Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary; Cedric Richmond, a senior adviser to Mr. Biden; Dana Remus, the White House counsel; and various White House lawyers and press aides in addition to advisers to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mr. Klain wanted anyone planning to go away to achieve this by the tip of July to have a stable staff heading into the campaign season.

It has been a time of mixed news for the president. His approval rating is dismal, and the most recent data showed that the economy had shrunk for the second quarter in a row, a possible indicator of a recession. But a flurry of motion on Capitol Hill has advanced his priorities on climate change, health care, same-sex marriage and industrial policy, possibly the beginning of a winning streak that had long eluded him.

Ms. Bedingfield has been a key counselor to Mr. Biden since his second term as vp. During his presidential campaign, she was one in every of the architects of the message of national restoration that carried him through the primaries and the final election. But some Democrats have complained that the president’s messaging has not been focused, forceful, sustained or commanding enough since he took office.

Still, one message from the president’s communicator was welcomed within the West Wing on Friday. “I’m excited that this isn’t me sending you all a sappy ‘that is my last day’ note,” Ms. Bedingfield wrote in her email, “and so excited for all that’s to return.”

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