In a statement Wednesday night, Biden suggested he picked Klain for the job because his long experience in Washington had prepared him for such challenges.
“His deep and varied experience and ability to work with people from all political backgrounds is precisely what I need in a White House Chief of Staff as we face this moment of crisis and bring our country together again. Biden said.
Klain served as Biden’s chief of staff during Barack Obama’s first term, Vice President Al Gore’s chief of staff in the mid-1990s and was a key advisor to the Biden campaign, guiding preparations for the Biden debate and the response to coronaviruses. He has been known and worked with Biden since the Democrat’s presidential campaign in 1987.
Klain’s pick underscores the effort the incoming Biden administration will put on the coronavirus response from day one. Klain has public health experience as an Ebola response coordinator and played a central role in drafting and implementing the Obama administration’s economic stimulus plan in 2009.
“I am honored by the confidence of the President-elect and I will give my all to lead a talented and diverse team in a Biden-Harris WH,” Klain tweeted.
Klain’s choice is also likely to allay some concerns among progressives who were preparing to fight for one of the first and biggest staff picks Biden will make as he builds his White House squad. The chief of staff is typically the president’s guardian, sets political and legislative strategy, and often serves as a liaison with Capitol Hill in legislative negotiations.
Progressives had expressed concerns that Biden would choose one of his other former chiefs of staff: Steve Richetti, who faces skepticism for his lobbying work, or Bruce Reed, who is seen as too moderate to embrace the reforms pushed by the party. based. But progressives see Klain as open to working with them on priorities like climate change and health care.