The appointment of “Ebola Czar”, Ron Klain, 53, had most of us wondering why Obama didn’t choose a medical or military expert. But Dems close to the White House said the choice of Klain – a former chief of staff to uber-Dems Vice President Joe Biden, Vice President Al Gore and Attorney General Janet Reno – makes sense. Bringing Klain into the West Wing now will provide a smooth transition to Podesta’s job when he departs – probably early next year, perhaps after the State of the Union address.
Administration insiders say Ron Klain, who starts tomorrow as the White House Ebola czar, will succeed John Podesta as counselor to President Obama when Podesta inevitably leaves to handle Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “The president has been talking to Ron about different roles for a long time, and he wouldn’t accept the Ebola job unless there was a promise of something bigger,” said a longtime Klain colleague.
“Ron is part of the small circle that Obama is comfortable with and keeps going back to,” the longtime colleague says. “He knows how to get ahead of problems and to use the levers of the federal government.” Another friend said Klain fits Obama’s “no drama” model. “Rahm was able to work in Obamaworld DESPITE his personality; Ron works BECAUSE of his personality,” the friend said. “Ron doesn’t yell. He’s affable but tough. He is easy to work with and work for, but he’s not a pushover. That’s the combination that has worked well in the Obama White House.”
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