Karine Jean-Pierre Joins Biden Campaign As Senior Adviser
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is beefing up his team, hiring veteran political strategist Karine Jean-Pierre as a senior adviser to his presidential campaign as he prepares for the 2020 general election.
Jean-Pierre, 43, will advise on strategy, communications, and engaging with key communities including African Americans, women, and progressives, according to the Biden campaign.
The daughter of Haitian immigrants, she served in many political capacities ranging from grassroots activism and local politics to the White House.
“This really is the most important general election in generations,” Jean-Pierre told the nonprofit newsroom The 19th. “I’ve known Joe Biden for 10 years now. I believe he’s a man of integrity, he’s a man who knows how to lead, he’s a man who knows how to use the levers of government to help people and he’s the man who could beat Donald Trump in November. For me, as a Black woman, I just could not sit this out.”
Biden is more than familiar with Jean-Pierre’s work. She was the Southeast regional political director in 2008 for then-candidate Barack Obama’s history-making presidential campaign. And she served in the Obama White House as regional political director before working as deputy battleground states director on his 2012 reelection, The Washington Post reported.
Jean-Pierre has been open about her struggles with insecurities and how she found her personal stride.
She has admitted to experiencing imposter syndrome when she was working on the campaign for New York City Councilman James Sanders in 2005.
“It’s the idea that, even when by all possible external measures you’re succeeding, internally you still feel like you’re failing. It’s feeling like you’re not good enough even when any objective person would say you are,” she told NBC News.
She added, “And while imposter syndrome is something we all deal with from time to time, I’d be surprised if it didn’t affect women and people of color more often. Because while we can all feel inadequate sometimes, women and people of color are often taught that they’re inadequate.”
Jean-Pierre wrote about her life in her book, “Moving Forward,” in which she shares her experiences growing up as the oldest child of Haitian immigrants. She was born in Martinique and raised in New York.
She got into politics early in her political career. She worked on former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 2016 Democratic presidential bid before joining liberal group MoveOn as chief public affairs officer. She is also an MSNBC political analyst.
“Throughout my almost two decades working in politics, I’ve held several jobs, ranging from grassroots activism to local politics, and working in the White House. I didn’t take the traditional route to get there,” she wrote for NBCNews.com. “I was born in Martinique, grew up in an immigrant household in New York, and initially thought I was going to become a doctor.”
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Now Jean-Pierre is ready to help push Biden into office. “Black voters, Black women, have helped him get to this point,” she told The Washington Post. “When everybody was counting him out, Back voters spoke out. I am so proud and excited as a Black woman watching how Black women have exerted their power…we had to say loud and clear this (the actions of the Trump administration) is not OK.”
Jean-Pierre said her immigrant upbringing, growing up in New York, shaped everything about her. “My hard work, my perseverance, the way I meet, see people and talk to people,” she told journalist Judy Woodruff in an interview for PBS NewsHour. “It has made me who I am, the type of mother that I have become, partner that I have become.”
In addition to Jean-Pierre, Biden also hired another Obama campaign alum — Julie Chavez Rodriguez — as a senior adviser, making her the highest-profile Latina. Rodriguez worked previously as a co-national political director for Sen. Kamala D. Harris’s presidential campaign.