Biden Will Need a New Chief of Staff

Ron Klain is leaving, a rare high-level departure in the current White House
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2023 6:05 AM CST
In Rarity, a Top Biden Aide Is Leaving
White House chief of staff Ron Klain walks to the South Lawn of the White House on April 8, 2022.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who has spent more than two years as President Biden's top aide, is preparing to leave his job in the coming weeks, per the AP. The personnel change is a rarity for an administration that has had minimal turnover so far—no member of Biden's Cabinet has stepped down. The White House did not return calls or emails seeking comment on Klain’s expected exit, which was first reported by the New York Times.

Klain has overseen a West Wing that has been largely free of the high-stakes drama that permeated the upper echelons of the Trump administration. He has been an outspoken proponent of Biden’s agenda via Twitter, where he frequently engages with reporters to defend the president’s record. His departure comes as the White House struggles to contain the fallout after classified documents were discovered at Biden's Delaware home and at his former institute in Washington. It also comes not long after the White House and Democrats had a better-than-expected showing in the November elections, buoyed by a series of major legislative accomplishments, including a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a sweeping climate, health care, and tax package.

Among those on the short list to succeed Klain include Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president; Labor Secretary Marty Walsh; former White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; and Anita Dunn, a White House senior adviser. Dunn has publicly ruled out interest in the chief of staff job but would be the first woman in the post. She played a leading role in shaping Biden’s political and communications strategy, including the “ultra-MAGA” framing of Republicans that helped Democrats exceed expectations during the 2022 midterms.

(More Ron Klain stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.