No. 16: Ronald Klain
By OMRI NAHMIAS
US Vice President Joe Biden (R) is joined by Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain (L) in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, US November 13, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LARRY DOWNING/FILE PICTURE)
The White House’s COVID-19 response is connected by infrastructure reform and a good relationship with Congress and all goes through Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff.
Klain is one of Biden’s closest confidants and first worked for him in 1989 when the president was a senator. He served as chief of staff to Biden when he was VP and was appointed as the Ebola response coordinator.
“Ron Klain’s deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff,” Biden said when tapping Klain for the job.
Klain was raised in Indianapolis and attended Georgetown and then Harvard Law School. He was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Byron White.
In 1994, he became chief of staff to A-G Janet Reno and later was general counsel to Al Gore’s recount committee following the 2000 election. Kevin Spacey played him in the HBO film Recount.
“I’m a staff person, not prime minister,” he told The New York Times podcast Sway. “I have the benefit of having worked for nine of the people who’ve done this job. I draw something from all of them.”
“Ron Klain has been Joe Biden’s political alter ego for many of the last 40 years, regardless of his position or Biden’s interaction with Jews and Israel,” Steve Rabinowitz, a Democratic Party strategist, told The Jerusalem Post earlier this year when Klain was appointed. “Along the way, Klain has proven himself as friendly to our community and to Israel as we are with his old/new boss,” he added.