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Thoughts on the Biden transition

Matt Stoller discussed some finer details in his latest BIG newsletter on the Biden transition under the headline: “We Won’t Be Repeating the Obama Administration.” Stoller calls out three specific examples.

  1. Bill Baer, head of Antitrust Division under President Obama. Baer is “heading up one of the antitrust review teams for the Biden transition. Baer didn’t do a great job under Obama, but he’s making some useful noises. “We should care too about under enforcement because it’s led to growing concentration in many markets, think agriculture, telecom, wireless, travel, pharma and beer,” he said at an American Bar Association conference.”
  2. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Supposedly gunning for Attorney General.
  3. Sheryl Sandberg. A counter-example for the previous two. Sandberg was a “credible rumored candidate for Treasury Secretary had Hillary Clinton won.”

Two more notes on Amy Klobuchar from CNBC:

One of the areas that could interest Biden in choosing her to lead the Department of Justice is her stance on antitrust and her pushback on the tech giants. During her run for president, she said strong antitrust enforcement means looking back at the deal between Facebook and Instagram.

Klobuchar, along with a group of bipartisan lawmakers, has introduced the Honest Ads Act, which looks to “help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements.”

I’ve so far been pleased with what I’ve heard from the Biden transition team. As Stoller and many others have noted, progressives and the left-wing of the Democratic party are going to have a strong place in the centrist Biden administration. The progressive voice will be extremely important, especially if the Senate is still controlled by Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. Progressives will be needed as a counter-weight to both the Republicans and centrist Democrats who want things to stay the same, or only make incremental changes.

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