President-elect Joe Biden has tapped longtime adviser Ron Klain to serve as his chief of staff in the White House, The Daily Beast has confirmed. Klain is a veteran political and policy operative well-known in Washington. He is also a familiar face to Biden: Klain has worked with Biden off and on since the late 1980s, when he served as a top aide to the then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Democratic operative also previously served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president, and he took point on the Obama administration’s handling of Ebola. Klain has also been outspoken about President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though Klain is viewed as a centrist and a Washington insider, prominent progressives immediately hailed the move. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) calling him a “superb choice for Chief of Staff” who “has earned trust all across the entire Democratic Party.” Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid, a top grassroots organizer, also acknowledged that Biden’s pick is familiar with the shifting trends within the party, writing that “Klain understands the Democratic Party has moved in a more progressive direction and that voters expect bold action.”