Joe Biden names Jen O'Malley Dillion as new campaign manager

The staff change comes as the former vice president is expected to shift his attention to the general election.
Image: Supporters cheer as Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden (C) arrives to speak at a rally in Conway, South Carolina
Supporters cheer as Joe Biden arrives to speak at a rally in Conway, S.C., on Feb. 27, 2020.Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Mike Memoli and Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden is naming Jen O’Malley Dillion as his new campaign manager, a major organizational shake-up that comes as he prepares to expand his campaign operations and shift his focus to the general election.

O’Malley Dillion, 43, was the deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and served as the executive director for the Democratic National Committee during Obama’s first term.

Most recently, O’Malley Dillion joined former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s long-shot presidential bid as campaign manager based in El Paso. O’Rourke dropped out of the race in November and endorsed Biden in March.

Greg Schultz, Biden’s original campaign manager, will transition into a new role focused on coordinating with other Democratic Party stakeholders with an eye toward the general election.

"I am grateful to Greg for his leadership and hard work to help get our campaign where it is today, and I will value his continued input on this campaign,” Biden said in a statement. "I am also thrilled that Jen is bringing her considerable talent and insight to this team. She will be a tremendous asset to a campaign that is only growing and getting stronger as we prepare to take the fight to Donald Trump this fall."

The staff changes come as some Democratic strategists had raised concerns that Biden’s organization was unprepared to face President Donald Trump in November after poor performances in early nominating contests and lackluster fundraising numbers.

Biden raised $22.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, the best fundraising quarter of his campaign, but still fell short of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' more than $34.5 million. Trump’s campaign pulled in $46 million in the final quarter of 2019.

Since Biden pulled ahead of Sanders in the delegate count after Super Tuesday, his campaign has been primarily focused on getting through the nominating contests in the two weeks following Super Tuesday. But with O’Malley Dillion in place, discussions with other potential hires are expected to be a priority in the coming weeks.

The change is expected to be announced internally at the Biden headquarters in Philadelphia later this afternoon at an all-staff meeting.

The campaign has been courting O’Malley Dillon for some time. She played a significant role in helping Biden’s team ramp up operations in Nevada and was credited with helping Biden win a badly-needed second place finish there.