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Ron Klain expected to step down as President Biden’s White House Chief of Staff

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Several US media outlets have reported that President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, is expected to leave his role in the coming weeks.

The news was first reported by the New York Times.  The Times said that Klain would likely leave following Biden’s State of the Union address on 7 February.  This has not yet been officially confirmed.

Klain, 61, was appointed as Biden’s chief of staff on November 12, 2022.  Klain also served as chief of staff for Gore and Biden when they were Vice-Presidents and also served as Barack Obama’s White House Ebola Response Coordinator.

A source close to Klain said he found the job exhausting and had mentioned departing it on several occasions.

“No one is surprised,” an administration official said.

Klain’s successor will be tasked with dealing with Republican investigations, now that they have control of the house, and also managing Biden’s re-election campaign, should he run again.

“It’s going to be a huge job for Klain’s successor and I don’t envy the person,” said Chris Whipple, author of a recent book on the Biden White House. “It’s a relentless, thankless, difficult job. They’re sailing into rough waters ahead. Not only will it be a bruising campaign with an 80-year-old candidate, but also a hostile Republican House with its hair on fire.”

Several successors are being considered, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions. The possible successors include current senior adviser Anita Dunn, counselor to the president Steve Ricchetti, former Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients and former Delaware Governor Jack Markell.  

Klain declined to confirm or deny news of his resignation. We have no announcement right now,” he told NBC News Saturday afternoon.  

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DEL) also declined to confirm or deny Klain’s alleged departure. Coons did say that Klain has been an indispensable part of Biden’s policy successes.

“Ron Klain’s talent, energy, integrity and skills have been central to the accomplishments of the last two years,” said Coons, who is close to the Biden White House. “He is relentlessly loyal to the president, clear-eyed about the challenges of advancing his agenda and unmatched in his work ethic.”

“The lack of professionalism and raw chaos of the Trump White House have been largely forgotten in the circles that I work in,” Coons added. “It just feels like we’re back to normal. There are grownups in the room.”

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