Politics

Lesbian political powerhouse Karine Jean-Pierre is the “top candidate” to be Biden’s press secretary

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Karine Jean-PierrePhoto: Shutterstock

Several journalists are reporting that Joe Biden is considering lesbian Democratic advisor Karine Jean-Pierre to be the public face of the White House next year.

If she is picked for the job, she would be the first Black woman in that role and the first out person to be White House press secretary.

Related: Here are 85 ways Joe Biden can help LGBTQ people without going through Congress

“Karine Jean-Pierre has emerged as a top candidate for Biden’s WH press secretary,” tweeted NBC News’s Geoff Bennett, citing unnamed sources. He said that NBC News correspondents Mike Memoli and Kristen Welker have heard the same thing from “multiple sources.”

“No final decisions have been made, officials stress, as the emerging West Wing leadership also considers how to structure the communications office in a rapidly-changing media environment,” Bennett reported.

Jean-Pierre served as the campaign chief of staff of Kamala Harris this past year and was the first out LGBTQ person to work in that role, as well as the first Black person to serve as a vice-presidential campaign chief of staff for a major party.

Originally from the French West Indies island of Martinique, Jean-Pierre was raised in New York City and attended graduate school at Columbia University.

She started her career in politics working for the John Edwards campaign in 2004 and later worked for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns as well as Martin O’Malley’s 2016 presidential campaign.

During Obama’s first term, she worked in the White House Office of Political Affairs, a position she said was important to her as a lesbian.

“What’s been wonderful is that I was not the only; I was one of many,” she told The Advocate in 2011. “President Obama didn’t hire LGBT staffers, he hired experienced individuals who happen to be LGBT.”

“Serving and working for President Obama where you can be openly gay has been an amazing honor. It felt incredible to be a part of an administration that prioritizes LGBT issues.”

Outside of her work with political campaigns and the government, she was the national spokesperson for the progressive organization MoveOn in 2016, a commentator for NBC News and MSNBC, and a lecturer at Columbia University.

People who have followed the 2020 Democratic primary closely may remember Jean-Pierre from a viral video of a white, male animal rights activist taking Harris’s microphone away from her during a 2019 MoveOn forum.

Jean-Pierre leaped to her feet up to grab the mic back and protect Harris.

She is one of several LGBTQ people in senior positions in the Biden/Harris campaign or transition team and one of many names being floated for a prominent position in the Biden administration. Former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to D.C. rumors, is being considered for a spot at the Department of Veterans Affairs or UN ambassador, and Pennsylvania Surgeon General Dr. Rachel Levine is reportedly on a list of possible U.S. Surgeon Generals.

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