Reporter gives up covering Biden for relationship with his aide: ‘Didn’t think twice’
Alexi McCammond and TJ Ducklo informed their bosses of their romance to avoid any professional conflict
Axios reporter Alexi McCammond fell in love while on the campaign trail with one of President Joe Biden’s aides and has now given up the beat.
McCammond, 27, is a political reporter at Axios who covers progressive politicians in Congress, the progressive movement, and Vice President Kamala Harris. She was assigned to cover Biden’s campaign in 2019 and 2020. During that time, she fell in love with TJ Ducklo who was then Biden’s press secretary.
McCammond and Ducklo, 32, started dating in November. They both informed their bosses so that there would be no appearance of conflict. She “asked to be taken off of the Biden beat,” and was reassigned to Vice President Harris.
“When my personal life had the potential to interfere with my work, I didn’t think twice about sharing my happiness in November with Axios that I’d found someone in TJ who shows up for me in a way I’d only hoped for,” she told People.
She continued that Axios has been understanding of her position and was mindful of how her work could be undermined.
“These past few years have shown how easy it is for some to make quick and misguided judgments of those in the public eye. As a young Black woman in this industry, I’ve felt this firsthand several times,” McCammond said. “TJ and I knew full well the unfair criticism our relationship might face, but knew that we weren’t going to let bullies get in the way of our own happiness.”
In a statement, Axios backed the rising star who was recognized as the 2019 Emerging Journalist by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2019.
“We stand behind her and her coverage,” the spokeswoman said of McCammond, and added she was “a valued member of the Axios team.”
Ducklo reiterated to the entertainment outlet that it was important for them to follow protocol and that he also informed his superiors at the White House.
“We both realized we both felt the same way,” Ducklo, who is now a deputy press secretary in the Biden administration, told People. “We’re both really happy, and we wanted to do it the right way.”
He added that the two try to keep their professional lives at a distance at home.
“We keep it totally separate. I don’t know what she’s working on and she doesn’t know what I’m working on,” Ducklo said. “It means a lot of calls in hallways, in bathrooms and while one of us is walking her dog.”
Their love has also been tested by Ducklo’s stage four lung cancer diagnosis in December 2019. He received treatment while on the campaign trail for Biden. It made them realize that they were more than just friends and wanted to be in a romantic relationship.
“In December 2019, it looked like Joe Biden was going to lose the Democratic primary and I was diagnosed with stage-four cancer and I was super single,” Ducklo said. “One year later, Joe Biden is the president-elect and I have my cancer under control … and I’m in this serious relationship, which has really the been the best thing that has ever happened in my personal life. What a difference a year can make.”
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