Stephen Goepfert has worked for Joe Biden for several years. He has worked with Biden since the days when Biden was vice-president in the Obama administration. He served as Biden’s body man during the 2020 presidential campaign and now serves as the first out gay man to hold the role of personal aide to a president. It is being reported that he is moving to the Transportation Department.
Why would Goepfert make such a move? Isn’t being the right-hand man to the most powerful man on earth further up the food chain than an employee in Mayor Pete’s department? Maybe I’m missing something but nothing has been mentioned in the reporting of this exodus of a key White House staffer that brought about this move. Goepfert’s last day at the White House is Friday. His replacement will be Jacob Spreyer, currently the official White House receptionist. This isn’t a position that can be left vacant. It doesn’t sound glamorous but it’s an important one. The president’s personal aide is often the first and last staffer Biden sees every day. He has the trust of the president.
‘From the campaign to the White House, Stephen Goepfert has been by my side,’ the president said in a statement to CNN.
‘In moments big, small, and extraordinary, he’s been a trusted and loyal confidant who everyone counts on and who always delivers,’ the president continued.
‘Jill and I will miss Stephen, but we’re proud that he will continue to serve the American people in his new role in the Biden-Harris administration as he continues his career in public service,’ Biden added.
The personal assistants of presidents usually don’t garner publicity but can be seen placing a speech on a podium or carrying bags to and from Marine One. He keeps the president organized and anticipates his needs. That’s the job. You may remember Reggie Love, Barack Obama’s body man who became well-known because Obama frequently referenced him to the press. He stayed into the second Obama term before he moved on. Why isn’t Goepfert even staying until the 2022 midterm elections? As a side note, Love endorsed Mayor Pete in the Democrat primary in 2020, not Joe Biden.
Goepfert was a deputy director in the Office of Presidential Correspondence in the Obama administration. Steve Ricchetti was serving as Vice-President Biden’s chief of staff and brought Goepfert over to serve as senior adviser. Goepfert’s name came up during the 2020 campaign when Biden’s personal aide quit. ‘You’re literally at the border of where the president’s privacy and public duties sit,’ Ricchetti told CNN. ‘Stephen has had the ability and the willingness to help the president navigate everything he did throughout the day. That ends up being a critical role.’
Ricchetti also portrayed Goepfert as a nice guy.
‘There is nothing that President Biden values more than authentic personal connection with people who he meets along the way,’ Ricchetti told CNN. ‘How his personal aide treats other people alongside of him is vitally important as an expression of who the president is – and Stephen is just phenomenal at that.’
Maybe it’s just burn-out on the part of Goepfert. Biden is old and feeble, usually dazed and confused, so you know he must be high maintenance. And then there’s Jill hovering around. It’s got to be a tough job. Whatever the reason is, Goepfert joins the growing exodus of staffers leaving the White House, even before the mid-term elections. He is going to stay in Biden’s administration, going to the Transportation Department. Others who have left the White House have either gone to a different department or joined the media. We’ll see who is the next to leave.