TURBULENCE: Biden Senior Strategist and Ad Maker Leaves Campaign

Former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. lost a key senior strategist this week amid a tumultuous stretch for the 2020 presidential hopeful.

“Mark Putnam, a high-profile Democratic strategist and producer of television ads, confirmed in a brief phone call that he had recently left Mr. Biden’s campaign,” according to The New York Times. 

Wednesday, Biden drew the ire of several Democratic Party presidential contenders, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) over comments praising segregationist senators with whom he worked early in his career.

Putnam’s departure is apparently unconnected to the Biden’s latest gaffe.

“I wish the vice president well,” he reportedly said.

Putnam played an instrumental role in the 2008 and 2012 elections of former president Barack H. Obama, among others. According to his firm’s website:

A veteran of eight U.S. presidential campaigns, Mark was one of the lead media makers for President Barack Obama in both his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. In all, Mark has been a lead strategist and created national television advertising for six presidential campaigns, served as chief speechwriter for two presidential campaigns and has been a lead strategist and ad maker on campaigns at every level in 48 states.

Big League Politics reported on Biden’s tough week Wednesday:

As the 2020 Democratic Party primary heats up, one candidate took a swipe at former vice president Joe Biden, currently the party’s leading candidate.

“I have, um, a great deal of respect, uh for vice president Biden,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said to a gaggle of reporters. “He’s done very good work and he’s served our country in a very noble way. But to coddle the reputation of segregationists – of people who, if they had their way I would literally not be standing here as a member of the United States Senate – is, uh, it’s misinformed and it’s wrong.”

Earlier Wednesday, Biden praised late Sens. James Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), known as two of the Senate’s most ardent segregationists, with whom Biden worked early in his political career.

“Let’s be very clear,” Harris continued. “The Senators that [Biden] is speaking of with such adoration are individuals who made and built their reputations on segregation.”

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