On Tuesday, Biden revealed that he would not be tricked into discussing Trump’s version of the reality to calm the nerves of nervous supporters who are alarmed by what they are hearing from Republicans.
Biden spoke to five world leaders in two days, laughed at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks that Trump was heading for a second term, and called Trump’s rejection of the election results “embarrassing”. Biden also said he would start nominating people to his cabinet before Thanksgiving.
“We don’t see anything that is honestly slowing us down,” Biden said during an event in Delaware on Tuesday. “We’re going to do exactly what we would if he admitted and said we’d won what we got.” So nothing really changes. “
Still, in a call to POLITICO on Tuesday, Bob Bauer, one of the campaign’s top lawyers, admitted that most of the day’s action – from Biden’s press conference to a press conference with the legal team – was focused on reassuring Americans that Trumps were doing Efforts to hinder Bidens transition would fail.
Trump, said Bauer, had transformed into the “boy who wolf wept” and repeated that there was no ambiguity about the election results.
In an earlier interview with reporters, Bauer said recent statements by Republicans who expressed doubts about the election results were “noise, not really law; Theater, not really complaints. ”
He also noted that since 2000, nationwide recounts generally only earned hundreds of additional votes. Biden’s lead is far greater in states like Georgia and Wisconsin, where Republicans have looked for recounts.
“These margins cannot be overcome in recounts,” said Bauer.
Election workers also noted that some of the attacks on the elections came from news agencies that had been attacking Biden’s candidacy for months.
Biden advisors see Trump’s legal and public relations efforts as a comedy of mistakes. They watched in amusement as Rudy Giuliani held a news event in Philadelphia near a porn store in the Four Seasons Total Landscaping parking lot (after Trump had to tweet a correction that the event wasn’t going to take place at the high-end hotel). The first person Giuliani called on the podium to make baseless election fraud allegations was a convicted sex offender, POLITICO reported on Monday. And David Bossie, the advisor Trump tapped to oversee the campaign’s legal challenges, just tested positive for the coronavirus.
In the meantime, the Biden transition is largely acting as if it were working as usual. Biden made public remarks on Monday about the coronavirus pandemic and the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday. Both stood behind a podium and in front of a background with logos that read “Office of the President Elect”. He spoke to a handful of foreign executives on the phone. And its transition heralded the names of Hundreds of officials who will work in “agency review teams” to kickstart the transition process within the federal government, although the team will not have access to departments and agencies until the General Services Administration head confirms Biden’s victory.
Other transitional steps are also progressing rapidly. Louisa Terrell, a legislative-focused Biden transition assistant, reached out to the Democratic Chiefs of Staff on Capitol Hill this week for details on everything from communications to inauguration, not mentioning the ongoing delays in formally initiating the transition process.
“With your help, President-elect Biden is taking office with strong leadership and leadership and partners in Congress,” Terrell wrote, according to a copy of the POLITICO email. “The president-elect knows that we have critical work ahead of us together to rebuild, and he is keen to use this transition period to get started.”
Biden’s newly created Coronavirus Task Force has also begun reaching out to the Democrats on Capitol Hill for strategies to fight the pandemic when the new government is sworn in. Co-chairman Vivek Murthy, the Obama administration’s surgeon general, convened the Senate Democrats weekly for a caucus lunch for short members Tuesday.
But even as Biden plows forward, some of his allies encourage him and his team to do more to draw attention to the raid. Biden has downplayed the damage delaying a transition can cause, but others have emphasized the need to bring his transition team officials into federal agencies to help manage the pandemic and deal with any national security violations minimize.
The delay in the formal start of the transition also means that Biden does not yet have access to the President’s daily briefing, nor can he get help from the State Department in setting up calls with foreign leaders.
“We want this to be a very public issue,” said David Shulkin, who was Undersecretary of Undersecretary for Veterans Affairs in the Obama administration for a little over a year before serving as Trump’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs for a little over a year. Speaking at an event on Tuesday, Shulkin said, “We obviously want President-elect Biden to speak about why this transition process is so important and that this does not depart from the pandemic we are all facing.”
Public pressure could be the Biden team’s most powerful tool in getting GSA Administrator Emily Murphy to confirm Biden’s victory and move forward with the transition. Transitional officials have been considering the option of legal action – an idea Biden himself threw out on Tuesday – but some legal experts have expressed doubts about the possibility that such a move could be effective.
“I think it’s a difficult proposition, and I think it’s almost impossible to succeed in time to play a role,” Kate Shaw, a law professor at the Cardozo School of Law, said at an event Monday. “So I don’t see the courts as a real opportunity for the Biden team, but I think the pressure from other avenues could be significant.”
Alice Miranda Ollstein contributed to this report.