Washington is reportedly recruiting TikTokers for the president’s reelection campaign while working to ban their app
US President Joe Biden is amassing an “army” of youthful “influencers” to sell the country’s oldest-ever president to the “young voters who are crucial to Democrats’ success in elections,” Axios reported on Sunday. The administration is reportedly considering giving its social media superstars their own briefing room in the White House.
The White House has linked up with “hundreds” of content creators willing to throw their online influence behind Biden’s campaign, according to the news outlet, including 20-year-old New York University news TikToker Harry Sisson, finance TikToker Vivian Tu, and Boston College professor Heather Cox Richardson, whose preferred platforms are Twitter and Substack.
The president’s “digital strategy team” includes four White House staffers dedicated exclusively to recruiting influencers and social media content creators, with a specific focus on “young and suburban voters” and those who’ve largely tuned out politics, according to Axios.
This demographic doesn’t just include the voters under 29, who allegedly favored Biden over Trump by a 26-margin during the last presidential election and picked Democrats over Republicans by 28 points in the midterms. The White House is also targeting “moms who use different platforms to get information and climate activists and people whose main way of getting information is digital,” deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon told Axios.
Ahead of the campaign, the administration hopes to establish relationships with location-specific influencers capable of bringing warm bodies and enthusiasm to local events. While Biden has not officially declared he is running for reelection in 2024 yet, he will no longer be the sole Democrat if and when he makes the announcement.
While the media establishment has largely written lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and author Marianne Williamson off as unserious candidates for their opposition to some of Washington’s most powerful lobbies, some believe the growing list of challengers must worry White House staffers already concerned about their candidate’s lack of support among the party faithful. The president’s approval rating last month hovered at a dismal 38% in an AP poll, with just 54% of young Democrats saying they approved of his economic leadership.
At the same time as the Biden administration is recruiting TikTok talent, it’s putting unprecedented restrictions on the app itself. Biden effectively banned TikTok from government devices in December and last month ordered Chinese tech firm ByteDance to unload their stake in the popular platform or face a ban.
TikTok has over 100 million American users, including millions of content creators (and voters) whose livelihoods are threatened by a blanket ban on the platform.
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