President-elect Joe Biden has announced the appointment of Ron Klain as Assistant to the President and White House chief of staff. Klain has been a long-time aide and adviser to Biden throughout the 2020 election winner’s career and will now oversee the Executive Office of the President and serve as a senior advisor.
“Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014,” said President-elect Joe Biden. “His 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 as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again.”
Biden has had Klain at his side as a top aide since his 1980s days in the Senate and the two worked together when Biden served as Obama’s vice-president. Klain has a wealth of experience in Washington and also served as Chief of Staff to Vice-President Al Gore, as well as a senior White House aide to Barack Obama.
Klain was played by actor Kevin Spacey in the HBO movie Recount, which gave a detailed account of the controversial presidential election of 2000. Because the White House Chief of Staff is a political appointee, the decision will not need to be confirmed by the Senate.
“It’s the honor of a lifetime to serve President-elect Biden in this role, and I am humbled by his confidence. 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 Ron Klain.
Biden first worked with his new chief of staff from 1989-92 when Klain was serving as chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Klain wrote speeches and advised Biden during the president-elect’s unsuccessful White House campaigns in 1988 and 2008. During Obama’s presidency, Klain serves as chief of staff to Biden for two years and later became Obama’s chief adviser on the Ebola virus when an outbreak occurred in 2014.
Additionally, Klain played a role in both of Bill Clinton’s presidential runs and was an adviser to John Kerry in 2004. The 59-year-old is regarded as being talented with political speeches and has been the presidential debate coach for a large number of high-profile politicians.
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States, and work with all my heart, with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you. For that is what America, I believe, is about. It’s about people. And that’s what our administration will be all about,” Joe Biden said in his Victory Speech in Delaware following the emergence of the final result.
“I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class, and to make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home. It’s the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for that vision. Now the work of making that vision is real. It’s a task, the task, of our time.
“I’ll have the honor of serving with a fantastic vice president. You just heard from Kamala Harris, who makes history as the first woman, first Black woman, the first woman from South Asian descent, the first daughter of immigrants ever elected in this country.
“I said at the outset I wanted this campaign to represent and look like America. We’ve done that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like and act like,” Biden said.
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight,” he continued. “I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.
“Now this campaign is over, what is the will of people? What is our mandate? I believe it’s this: Americans have called upon us to marshal the forces of decency, the forces of fairness, to marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time, the battle to control the virus, the battle to build prosperity, the battle to secure your family’s healthcare, the battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.”