Symone Sanders, who rose to prominence as Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) national press secretary during his 2016 presidential campaign, has signed on to work for former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 bid. She will serve as a senior advisor.
Sanders, who had been uncommitted throughout the cycle, is a CNN political commentator and has worked with Priorities USA, the largest Democratic Party Super PAC. She was a major hire for Sanders during the 2016 campaign, coming just as he faced criticism over the lack of diversity on his staff. But in the summer of 2016, she quit the campaign, at the time saying she did so of her own volition.
Sanders is a prominent progressive voice and a regular presence on cable news, giving Biden a valuable addition to his team. But she hasn’t always been sympatico with the former vice president. Recently, Sanders chastised Biden for cracking jokes in response to the unwanted touching allegations leveled against him by several women with whom he’d interacted during his career.
In the segment, she raised a hypothetical about how she would handle communications for Biden.
“If I’m Vice President Biden’s communications person, if he comes out and says the words ‘I’m sorry,’ all the chyrons and headlines will say ‘I’m sorry,’ Sanders said encouraging Biden to keep listening and talking to people.
Prior to then Sanders had also characterized the conventional wisdom around Biden being the frontrunner in the Democratic primary as being “overhyped.” In the same report though, she acknowledged that he could be “formidable.”
The Biden campaign did not return a request for comment but Sanders confirmed to The Daily Beast in a text message on Thursday.
Sanders was later featured among the staff hires announced by the Biden campaign on Thursday.
“We are incredibly proud of the diverse and talented team that has come together behind this campaign’s vision to restore the soul of this nation, rebuild the backbone of the country, and unify America,” said Greg Schultz, who will serve as campaign manager. “We know this is exactly the kind of change voters are looking for and we are excited to get to work to share Vice President Biden’s vision in every corner of the country.”
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