Democratic President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, will leave his position in the White House in the coming weeks, according to multiple news reports Saturday.
Klain, a longtime Biden hand who has served as his chief of staff since the president took office, is expected to leave his post shortly after the upcoming State of the Union address on February 7.
“Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff who has steered President Biden’s administration through two years of triumphs and setbacks, is expected to step down in the coming weeks in the most significant changing of the guard since Mr. Biden took office two years ago,” the New York Times‘ Katie Rogers and Peter Baker reported Saturday.
“Mr. Klain has told colleagues privately since the November midterm elections that after a grueling, uninterrupted stretch at Biden’s side going back to the 2020 campaign, he is ready to move on, according to senior administration officials, and a search for a replacement has been in time.”
Since Times report, both the Washington Post and Politico have published reports confirming the news as well. The Washington Post noted that Klain has not set a specific departure date yet, but it will come after the State of the Union address, sometime in the coming weeks.
“He has told colleagues that he will continue through the State of the Union address on February 7 and will help with the transition to his successor, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss private conversations,” Mailwrote Tyler Pager.
Klain’s role in the White House, seen as key to negotiating deals with Congress given his history of working with Biden on Capitol Hill, was crucial to Democrats’ legislative victories over the past two years. After navigating slim majorities in both chambers until the midterm elections, Klain helped Biden land an impressive litany of progressive Democrats, including an infrastructure package, a bill pushing through an effort to bring back semiconductor chip manufacturing, the confirmation of a US Supreme Court Justice, and a major Democrat-heavy spending plan in late 2022.
While Biden’s first attempt at comprehensive legislation failed — his original Build Back Better Act didn’t make it through Congress — with Klain’s help, he broke most of it up into pieces and enacted much of Biden’s agenda piecemeal.
Meanwhile, Democrats flourished politically during this time frame, and while they lost their majority in the House of Representatives to the new Republican majority in the lower chamber, the GOP has an extremely slim margin to govern with—and the Democrats even added a seat to their U.S. Senate majority . .
However, it has not been good news for Democrats during the time that Klain ruled the Biden White House. “At the same time, Mr. Klain has presided over a series of issues that have eroded public support for Mr. Biden,” Times‘ wrote Rogers and Baker. “While unemployment has remained near record lows and job creation has been robust, inflation reached its highest rate in 40 years, gas prices soared to record highs, economic growth stalled for a while and illegal immigration at the southwest border increased to record levels. levels.”
On top of all these problems, the new scandal surrounding Biden’s mishandling of classified documents threatens to seriously upend his presidency — and could jeopardize his chance at re-election. Biden is expected to announce his 2024 plans soon and, depending on what happens on the Republican side, could very well end up in a rematch with former President Donald Trump. Trump, who is currently the only Republican running for president, may face a serious intra-party challenge.
Biden losing Klain, his trusted adviser, couldn’t come at a worse time for him, as he enters a new phase in which congressional Republicans, emboldened by their new House majority, seek to tear him apart politically with investigations — and they’re likely to stop, too up some major major deals that have been the hallmarks of the past two years.
Who Biden chooses to replace Klain when the day comes for Klain to leave could say a lot about the president’s future – and about where the nation is headed politically.
“Among the candidates to succeed Klain are Jeff Zients, who coordinated the administration’s coronavirus response; Anita Dunn, Senior Advisor; and Steve Ricchetti, who was Biden’s chief of staff as vice president and now serves as an adviser to Biden,” Mail‘s Pager wrote and listed several possible replacements.