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Tipsheet

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain Looks for an Exit Amid Biden's Document Scandal

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

New reporting from The New York Times quoting several "senior administration officials" suggests that President Joe Biden's White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is expected to call it quits in the "coming weeks."

Klain has, at more than two years in the gig, "lasted longer than any other Democratic president’s first chief of staff in more than half a century," according to the Times, despite weathering a staggering amount of presidential missteps, crises, and scandals.

His record is, therefore, a stark comparison with how things have gone over in Vice President Kamala Harris' office where the proverbial departure lounge has seen more than a few senior positions turn over in the same timeframe.

Often tweeting out nonsense through the pain wrought by Biden's failures — from the war on American energy and the deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, to 40-year-high inflation and a broken supply chain to name a few — Klain hasn't faced any real blowback for whatever he's been advising Biden to do. 

But perhaps the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives and the latest Biden scandal concerning the president's mishandling of classified documents have proven enough for Klain to decide now is the time to close up shop and seek a cushy gig at a liberal TV network or leftist-dominated university. 

The Times' reporting notes that Klain has apparently been telling others in the West Wing for months following the 2022 midterms that "he is ready to move on," leading for a search to select his replacement for the key role to a president who seems to need more than just the usual amount of advising to get through each day. 

The notorious "senior administration officials" who always dish on White House palace intrigue didn't tell the Times if a new chief of staff had already been selected or if the candidate search was still ongoing as Klain looks for an exit. They also didn't reveal a set date for when an official resignation announcement would be made, saying "it would come at some point after the president outlined his agenda for the coming year in his State of the Union address on Feb. 7."

What the White House officials did give the Times was a list of potential candidates to take over as chief of staff:

  • Labor Secretary Marty Walsh
  • Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell
  • Biden Senior Adviser Anita Dunn
  • Biden Counselor Steve Ricchetti
  • Former COVID Response Coordinator Jeff Zients
  • Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

So, while we await what's sure to be a heckuva SOTU from Biden and the apparently looming departure of Ron Klain and naming of his successor, we'll take a preemptive moment of silence to mourn the fact that we might not get to roll our eyes at ludicrous Thanksgiving tweets like this from Chief of Staff Ron Klain again.

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