US President-elect, Joe Biden has named veteran aide Ron Klain to be WH chief of staff, his team announced. Klain has previously served as an aide to Biden since the 1980s on the Senate Judiciary committee before earning the post of chief of staff under his vice-presidency. Klain also acted as senior White House aide to Barack Obama and chief of staff to VP Al Gore.
The veteran was played by actor Kevin Spacey in the movie Recount, a picture about the 2000 Presidential elections. The White House chief of staff who oversees President’s day to day schedule. Often described as a gatekeeper, the political appointee does not need Senate’s confirmation.
Biden through a statement issued by his transition team paid tributed to the veteran aide.
“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum,” said Biden, “is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again.”
Klain responding to the Biden’s word said he was “humbled” by the President-elect’s confidence in him.
“I look forward to helping him and the vice president-elect assemble a talented and diverse team to work in the White House, as we tackle their ambitious agenda for change, and seek to heal the divides in our country,” said Klain.
Klain has previously worked as chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee form 1989-92 when Biden was chairman. He also served as an adviser and speechwriter on Biden’s failed 1998 and 2008 White House bids. The longstanding Democratic operative was also Biden’s chief of staff from 2009-11 as the latter served as Obama’s deputy.
He later acted as “Ebola czar” when the Africa witnessed a minor outbreak of the deadly disease in 2014. Klain was also active in both of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns and was also on John Kerry’s roster as an adviser during his failed WH run in 2004. The veteran has also provided debate tutelage to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama and Biden. His role as a chief of staff to Gore who backtracked from his initial concession in the disputed 2000 Presidential election was played in HBO drama Recount.
“The plural of chad is chad?” Klain played by Kevin Spacey on screen, asks at one point in the film, referring to the fragments of punched ballots that became a critical chunk in Florida when tallied. Gore’s Republican rival, George W. Bush was the eventual victor of the White House election.
Klain often tweets about the episode, only last year posting: “People frequently tell me that I should ‘get over’ the 2000 election and the recount. I haven’t, and I don’t think I ever will.”
He cross swords with now-president-elect 5 years ago after throwing in his lot with Clinton’s campaign ignoring Biden a party nomination hopeful at that time.
“It’s been a little hard for me to play such a role in the Biden demise,” Klain wrote of the man he had served as chief of staff in an email to Clinton presidential campaign chairman John Podesta in October 2015.
“I am definitely dead to them – but I’m glad to be on Team HRC,” he added, using Clinton’s initials. The message was disclosed by Wikileaks following a hack Klain declined to comment on the controversy in August when it was reported by Politico. Klain has since mended his relationship with Biden to ultimately get into his good books.
During the current WH race, President Trump reportedly referred of Klain to attack Biden. The Republican consistently mentioned Klain’s H1N1 swine flu comments critical of Obama and Biden’s handling of the pandemic. Nearly 12,500 American’s died of the flu in a relatively less lethal disease.
Klain, appearing last year on a panel discussion, said: “We did every possible thing wrong. And it’s, you know, 60 million Americans got H1N1 in that period of time. And it’s just purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass casualty events in American history.”
Trump five years later borrowed former aide’s remarks and made full use of them to counter Biden’s claim that he would bring experience and competence to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in United States.