A look behind at the scenes at Biden's reelection campaign for 2024 President Biden launched his reelection campaign almost two months ago. But behind the scenes, there's been a lot of work laying the ground for fundraising and organizing at the DNC.

Biden's campaign is getting rolling. Here's what's been happening behind the scenes

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A MART├ŹNEZ, HOST:

It's been almost two months since President Biden launched his reelection campaign. This weekend, in Philadelphia, he'll attend his first political rally of the 2024 race. Now, while it may seem like a slow start, there's been a lot going on behind the scenes at the Democratic National Committee. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports on how it all fits into Biden's strategy.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Past a maze of low-walled cubicles at DNC headquarters in Washington, there's a sparsely decorated corner office overlooking train tracks. And that is where Biden's campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, is working these days.

JULIE CHAVEZ RODRIGUEZ: Which is my temporary office until we get our headquarters straight.

KEITH: The campaign hasn't yet announced where it will be based, though Wilmington, Del., is the leading contender. For now, the party and the campaign are nearly indistinguishable. In her first broadcast interview since being named campaign manager, Chavez Rodriguez says starting out here makes a lot of sense.

CHAVEZ RODRIGUEZ: I'm very excited that I'm not having to function like a full startup operation, but instead, really do have the resources and the infrastructure and the people power to connect with voters as we need to.

KEITH: This is a big shift from the recent past when the DNC was a mess. Mo Elleithee was the party's communications director from 2013 to 2015.

MO ELLEITHEE: The DNC, when I got there, had essentially been gutted. There was not even a field director, let alone a robust field organization. It was $27 million in debt. The research shop had been decimated.

KEITH: Sam Cornell, the current executive director of the DNC, tells a strikingly similar story.

SAM CORNELL: When I walked into the DNC in 2017, we had a fundraising team of three people, none of whom had any experience actually raising money. We were less than 100 staff. The word I like to use is just atrophy.

KEITH: There are now approximately 300 people on the DNC staff. Cornell says Biden directed the party to focus on building a lasting infrastructure to get Democrats elected.

CORNELL: You know, I like to equate it to a race car. I'm not here to tell you that the race car is already built and it's out running laps on the track. I am here to tell you that the chassis is in incredible shape, and that is what the Biden-Harris campaign is building on top of.

KEITH: The DNC flexed its new muscle this spring in the state Supreme Court race in Wisconsin, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars and a lot of effort. It worked, says state party Chairman Ben Wikler.

BEN WIKLER: They organize volunteers from across the country to make phone calls into Wisconsin Democrats and remind them to get out and cast a ballot in early April. That's a level of support that makes a gigantic difference that has not always been there, by any means.

KEITH: Wikler points to 2012, when Democrats in the state tried to recall the Republican governor, Scott Walker, and the National Party didn't show up.

WIKLER: It was just not a major focus for the national committee, not a major focus for the presidential race. And people in Wisconsin worked so hard, but they wound up being flooded by dark money from the Koch network and big right-wing groups.

KEITH: This emphasis on organizing and having a robust party apparatus in place is exactly what Republicans did in 2016. Chris Carr was the RNC's political director. From the outside, he says he can't tell whether the DNC and Biden campaign are just talking a big game.

CHRIS CARR: It's hard to make an honest assessment. However, there are other factors that I would be worried about if I was at the DNC as their political director or the campaign manager for President Joe Biden.

KEITH: He says public polls continue to flash with big, red warning signs. Democratic voters saying they wish they had another option. While the Democratic establishment and the party are very much behind Biden, many Democratic voters are still uneasy.

Tamara Keith, NPR News.

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