WASHINGTON – It may seem appropriate to place an experienced foreign policy expert in charge of infrastructure, education and health care policy, but President-elect Joe Biden is hoping that Susan Rice, her choice to head the domestic policy council , Can raise stature a relatively low-profile White House forum.
This was the message for Rice, a final artist to be Biden’s running mate when he offered her a job in early December.
Rice said the idea is to reinvent the Domestic Policy Council or DPC, so it acts like the more prestigious National Security Council, which he saw during the Obama administration. It is a major challenge that the DPC has a smaller staff and budget than the staff working on the National Security Council. But Biden Rice is banking on the blunt style and his experiences coordinate policy in a broader bureaucracy.
“If she is not in a meeting, she will bang through the door,” a senior transition officer said. “And everyone knows that, including Joe Biden.”
In an interview, Rice described the DPC as “the frontline for our fight for now”. In addition to the coronovirus epidemic and economic recovery, which he said “is a job for everyone”, the DPC’s top priority will be health care, immigration and racial equality and justice.
Biden announced Rice’s position, stating that she had previously compared “to align domestic policy, economic policy and national security” with her incoming National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, and her chair of the National Economic Council, Brian Desse Will work in
“Susan will put forward a revitalized domestic policy council to help the board build better on every issue,” he said.
Biden became well aware of Rice in the eight years of the Obama administration, when she was a US ambassador to the United Nations and a national advisor. She is often described as an exception to the Washington rules of backanded compliments and passive aggression. She is known for speaking candidly and prefers not to face her back but to confront people directly.
And she drives a rigorous policy-making process, she said, adding that those who have worked closely with her predict that they will serve her well in the Biden administration.
“He would raise the bar in terms of both process and substance,” said Valerie Jarrett, a former senior White House adviser who worked with Rice during the Obama administration. “She will lead by example and advance the cabinet and her team’s effort to meet the challenges we face.”
A transition official said Rice has not yet been associated with her counterpart in the White House. The Biden team has prioritized coordinating with parts of the government that would retain career officers, such as the National Security Council, not to bring in an entirely new team, such as the DPC.
Rice’s appointment also underscores the difference between this transition and the previous one. For instance, Melody Barnes, who was head of the DPC during President Barack Obama’s first term, met with Bush administration officials in December 2008 to discuss how they would streamline their domestic policy-making process.
Although Rice’s focus on domestic policy may seem foreign, he said issues close to home have been an integral part of his life since he grew up in Washington, DC.
He spent his career in public service focused on foreign policy – first as Secretary of State for Africa Affairs during the Clinton administration, then as Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations and, in his second term, as National Security Advisor.
But as a child, she was a student of domestic policy. His father was the Governor of the Federal Reserve, and his mother helped prepare the Pell Grant program to help students pay for college. Economic mobility and racial justice, she said, “are issues on which I was raised.”
When he was offered two different positions in the Clinton administration in 1993 – one focused on the economy and the other on national security – Rice opted for foreign policy, thinking it would be easier to reverse than domestic issues.
Barnes said, “She has worked on issues of education, poverty, an epidemic, economic security.” All of that is transferable to the work she is doing. It may not repeat, but it rhyme. So there is a connection there. “
Rice kept a low profile as a National Security Advisor, a job he stepped into in 2013 as he disbanded the Obama administration’s handling of Obama’s 2012 attack, because he disbanded himself as Secretary of State due to a contentious dispute Had given. At an American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya.
And ever since she left the White House in January 2017, she has continued to grow about issues close to home. He published a deeply personal book, “Tough Love.” She has been vocal about domestic policy issues, including writing about Congress’s failure to pass police reforms and calling for a revival of economic and education systems.
“She took her voice out of the White House,” said the senior transition officer, where “she was more behind the scenes than I think she would be inclined to do,”.
Rice has also been a staunch critic of President Donald Trump. Last year, she also phoned Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina – one of the Republicans who constantly criticized her over the Benghazi investigation and then her responsibility to hand over national security matters during the transition to the upcoming Trump administration – “a Piece s — “during a podcast. “I said, damn it, after all,” Rice said.
Rice said that as head of the Domestic Policy Council, which was founded by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, he would be able to work closely with former allies Desse and Sullivan.
“This is not a team of people playing regional war with each other,” Rice said. “We’re going to be firing on all cylinders.”
She will also be part of the coronovirus task force. And she plans to hold a meeting of the head committee about domestic policy, as does the National Security Council for Foreign Policy, which consists of cabinet secretaries and other officials of the government. His effort will focus on helping Biden deliver a legislative agenda and craft executive orders. Many executive orders will initially focus on undo policies adopted by Trump.
“You’ve seen in the last four years how influential domestic policy advisors can be,” Jarrett said.