According to The New York Times, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, a veteran Democratic hand in Washington, is slated to leave his position in the coming weeks.
Klain, who helped guide President Joe Biden’s administration from its inception through a midterm election in which the party was largely spared the electoral thrashing that many political observers had predicted, has been a source of stability for the president during his first two years in the White House.
According to top Biden officials who spoke with The Times, Klain notified colleagues after the midterm elections that after a long period of advising the president, he decided to take a different path.
Klain formerly served as President Barack Obama’s White House Ebola response coordinator and as former Vice President Al Gore’s chief of staff. During the first two years of the Obama administration, he was also the chief of staff to then-Vice President Joe Biden.
According to The Times, the search for a replacement has already begun.
Anita Dunn, who returned to the White House last year after previously serving as a senior advisor from January 2021 to August 2021, had long been mentioned as a possible replacement for Klain.
Former Delaware governor Jack Markell, White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, and White House domestic policy director Susan Rice are among those being considered.
Senior Biden officials who spoke with The Times would to say whether a successor has been named or provide a date for the decision, but indicated the choice would come after Biden lays out his vision for 2023 in his State of the Union speech on February 7.
The Times said that Klain would likely stay on for a “transition period” to help his successor with one of the most difficult jobs in the nation’s capital: shepherding a presidential administration into a new era of split government after two years of united Democratic control of Congress.
Klain’s replacement will be responsible for not only defending Biden against an assault of House Republican probes, but also advising the president as he works with those same GOP members — notably House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California — to avoid another onerous debt ceiling showdown.
The transition also comes as Biden wants to showcase his successes in office as he prepares to run for reelection alongside Vice President Kamala Harris.