The White House has announced the departure of communications director Kate Bedingfield.
"Kate Bedingfield, who has served as White House Communications Director since President Biden’s inauguration, will leave the White House at the end of February," the White House's statement reads.
This is another significant change for the Biden administration. The administration has also recently seen the departures of Chief of Staff Ron Klainhis, economic adviser Brian Deese, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
Bedingfield, for her part, may be leaving, but, according to reports, she will not be moving too far away from President Joe Biden's side.
Bedingfield has worked with Biden, in one form or another, for a number of years.
She held various communications leadership roles in the administration of former President Barack Obama. Then, in 2015-2016, Bedingfield was the communications director for then-Vice President Biden. And, more recently, she was the deputy campaign manager for Biden's 2020 campaign.
According to the White House's statement, Bedingfield "has played an integral role in the successes of the first two years of the Biden-Harris Administration, from the American Rescue Plan through the Inflation Reduction Act."
Biden, himself, released a statement on Bedingfield's departure, stating:
Since my time as Vice President, Kate has been a loyal and trusted adviser, through thick and thin. She was a critical strategic voice from the very first day of my presidential campaign in 2019 and has been a key part of advancing my agenda in the White House. The country is better off as a result of her hard work and I’m so grateful to her – and to her husband and two young children – for giving so much.
CNN reports that, going forward, Bedingfield is expected to play a role in Biden's 2024 presidential campaign.
According to the White House, Bedingfield "will be replaced as White House Communications Director by Ben LaBolt."
The White House states, "LaBolt . . . is making history as the first openly gay White House communications director."
LaBolt, like Bedingfield, has already spent a lot of time working with Biden, going back to the Obama administration.
More, according to the White House, Labolt "served as the head of communications for the confirmation of [U.S. Supreme Court] Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and also served during the Biden-Harris transition as an advisor on nominations."
"Ben has big shoes to fill," Biden said. The president added:
I look forward to welcoming him back as a first-rate communicator who’s shown his commitment to public service again and again, and who has a cutting-edge understanding of how Americans consume information. I saw him fight for Justice Jackson, and he put his all into helping us make history confirming our cabinet and subcabinet nominees. I’m proud to have him rejoin this team.