Ron Klain has been in the job longer than most people stay in that role, but still, I will be sorry to see him go. He will remain COS for a few weeks after the State of the Union, and then he will remain in the West Wing for awhile after that to help with the transition.
The decision was apparently made before the “document” news broke, but I imagine that being in the news makes this more awkward.
h/t on the news that Klain is stepping aside: Baud
On his departure, Klain will be among the longest-serving first-term chiefs of staff for a Democratic president in recent memory, a fact that hasn’t been lost on people inside the White House.
It is difficult to overstate his intense involvement in every facet of major decisions made during Biden’s first two years as president. During the first half of the administration, deliberations big and small – and everything ranging from political to policy issues – would not only have Klain’s fingerprints but, most often, some level of his direct involvement. When lawmakers, political allies and policy advocates alike have been asked over the past two years who their direct contact was at the West Wing on any given issue, they have often been prone to respond with simply one word: “Ron.”
The veteran political operative’s tenure has been marked by a series of key legislative accomplishments for the White House, as well as his predilection for tweeting his opinions on a variety of topics at all hours of the day.
Klain’s expected decision marks one of the first high-profile departures from an administration characterized by low turnover over its first two years.
Is it too much to ask that it not be Vilsack? (please please please not Vilsak, I have never forgiven him for Shirley Sherrod)
Still, officials have been quietly weighing his potential replacements, with names including Steve Ricchetti, the counselor to the president and one of Biden’s closest advisers for years; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Labor Secretary Marty Walsh; Jeff Zients, the former Obama administration official who ran Biden’s Covid-19 response operation; and Anita Dunn, the senior adviser who runs the White House communications and messaging operation, among others.