After announcing his decision on Thursday to run for president in the 2020 election, it has also been announced that Joe Biden has hired 29-year-old African American political strategist Symone Sanders as a senior adviser to his presidential campaign. The move adds a younger, diverse voice to Biden’s cadre of top advisers, which has been dominated by older white men. It suggests Biden is seeking to broaden his appeal to a new generation of Democrats.
Symone Sanders became a high-profile political strategist and CNN contributor after she served as press secretary for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016. Describing Biden’s decision to bring Symone aboard as “one of the best moves” his campaign could make is Democratic strategist and former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile.
“She understands how to build a coalition, and that women of color are the backbone of the Democratic Party,” said Brazile. She adds that Sanders also helped her bridge the gap with millennials after the contentious 2016 primary elections.
Sanders has been heavily recruited by 2020 contenders, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Bernie Sanders notably did not ask her to come back after working on his 2016 campaign.
Biden, who formally joined the race on Thursday, began aggressively recruiting Sanders about a month ago. At Biden’s invitation, the two recently sat down at his home in Virginia and spoke for a few hours. A Biden campaign official confirmed Sanders’ hire on condition of anonymity because it has not been formally announced. Another person described their meeting in Virginia and insisted on anonymity to discuss a private meeting.