As President Joe Biden faces a major scandal, his chief of staff, Ron Klain, is reportedly planning to depart the White House in the coming weeks.
Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain stepping down in the middle of the classified document drama and Hunter rent payment fiasco…
Surely there is nothing to see here 👀
— Eric Spracklen🇺🇸 (@EricSpracklen) January 21, 2023
Klain has served as Biden’s chief of staff since he entered the White House and has worked for Biden on and off for 35 years. He reportedly plans to leave his current position soon after the president’s 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 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 on Saturday.
“Mr. Klain has been telling colleagues privately since the November midterm elections that after a grueling, nonstop stretch at Mr. 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 underway,” the report continued.
The New York Times’ report has since been corroborated by both the Washington Post and Politico — with the Post noting that Klain has not set a specific date for his departure just yet, though it will happen sometime in the coming weeks.
Since the Times report, both the Washington Post and Politico have published reports confirming the news as well. The Washington Post noted that Klain does not have a specific exit date determined yet, but it will come after the State of the Union address, sometime in the coming weeks.
“He has told colleagues he will stay on through the State of the Union address on Feb. 7 and will assist with the transition to his successor, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss private conversations,” the Washington Post’s Tyler Pager wrote.
Given his history of working with Biden in the Senate, Klain took a key role in the Biden administration, helping negotiate deals with Congress. He reportedly played a critical part in helping the Democrats achieve legislative victories over the past two years.
According to Breitbart News, “Navigating slim majorities in both chambers until the midterm elections, Klain helped Biden notch passage of an impressive litany of progressive Democrat priorities, including an infrastructure package, a bill pushing through an effort to bring back semiconductor chip manufacturing, the confirmation of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and a major Democrat-heavy spending plan at the end of 2022.”
“While Biden’s initial attempts at major big-picture legislation failed—his original Build Back Better bill did not make it through Congress—with Klain’s help, he broke most of it up into pieces and passed much of Biden’s agenda piecemeal,” the outlet continued.
Democrats’ agenda prospered during Klain’s tenure, despite their recent loss of the House majority in the midterm elections.
Klain’s role in the Biden administration has even been described as the “Shadow President” by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
However, Biden also faced major setbacks with Klain at his side.
“At the same time, Mr. Klain has presided over a rash of troubles that have drained public support for Mr. Biden,” the New York Times reported. “While unemployment has remained near record lows and job creation was robust, inflation reached its highest rate in 40 years, gas prices shot up to an all-time high, economic growth stalled for a time and illegal immigration at the southwestern border surged to record levels.”
Alongside these issues, Biden’s current scandal — the discovery of multiple batches of classified documents in both his Wilmington, Delaware residence and his old office at the Penn-Biden Center — threatens to upend his presidency and could make his reelection difficult. Critics have argued that Klain may be jumping ship to avoid being caught up in the aftermath of the scandal.
Biden is expected to announce his decision to run for reelection soon, and may be facing a rematch against former President Donald Trump. Losing his trusted adviser during this key moment is only going to make things worse for Biden, especially as he’s currently facing multiple investigations by the Republican House majority.
Whomever Biden chooses to replace Klain could have a major effect on his future, and the political future of the nation as a whole.
“Among the candidates to succeed Klain are Jeff Zients, who coordinated the administration’s coronavirus response; Anita Dunn, a senior adviser; and Steve Ricchetti, who was Biden’s chief of staff as vice president and now serves as a counselor to Biden,” the Washington Post reported.