WASHINGTON — White House chief of staff Ron Klain is expected to leave the Biden administration in the coming weeks, according to those familiar with the decision.
Klain’s departure comes as the White House reshuffles its team ahead of what’s expected to be President Joe Biden‘s 2024 campaign announcement after the State of the Union address in February. He has served as the President’s top adviser for over two years and was a key figure for Biden during the 2020 campaign.
“No one is surprised,” an administration official said of Klain’s impending departure.
Ron Klain’s exit will likely be the first of many for the Biden administration, presenting the President with the challenging task of selecting a new Chief of Staff, who must be able to fend off any political flack coming from Republican-led investigations while keeping Biden as a viable candidate for 2024.
Some candidates rumored to be in the mix to replace Klain include current senior adviser Anita Dunn, counselor to the president Steve Ricchetti, former Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients and former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.
“This is a huge challenge for Joe Biden to pick Ron Klain’s successor,” Whipple said. “Those are enormous shoes to fill. Klain belongs in elite company among the best White House chiefs of staff around.”
While Klain’s departure presents its challenges, it is not uncommon. A president’s first chief of staff usually leaves the job within two years. Former President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, left after the midterm elections while Donald Trump replaced his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, after six months.