(UnitedVoice.com) – Presidents depend on their advisors and cabinets to support them as leaders and help them formulate and implement policy. If an administration begins to see significant turnover in either advisors or cabinet positions, it might signal an issue with the administration’s direction or leadership style, among other potential reasons.
Notably, the White House announced the departures of Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Director of the National Economic Council (NEC), Brian Deese, on Thursday, February 2. Watching a two-year trend, conservative pundits are remarking that two more Joe Biden allies just bit the dust after a relatively stable first year.
Chief of Staff
Arguably, Ron Klain’s departure will hit the administration hardest. When Biden served as vice president to former President Barack Obama, Klain served as Biden’s chief of staff from 2008 until 2011. He’s served several Democratic leaders and inhabited many roles during his career.
In 1988, he worked as a speechwriter for Biden as he ran for the presidential nomination. He served as chief of staff to Attorney General Janet Reno during the Clinton administration in 1994 and transitioned to become then-vice president Al Gore’s chief of staff from 1995 through 1999. He served as Gore’s general counsel in the infamous “hanging chad” Florida recount in the presidential battle between Gore and George W. Bush.
Although Klain left the Obama administration in 2011 to work in the private sector, the administration asked him to return in 2014 as its Ebola response coordinator. In 2015, he joined Hillary Clinton’s campaign efforts, working to prepare her for televised debates.
In his resignation letter submitted on January 27, Klain admitted, “my work for you has defined my life, both personally and professionally,” referring to 36 years working for Biden, beginning the day he returned from his honeymoon with his wife. He added that his relationship with the Bidens was “woven into the tapestry of the Klain family.”
Both Biden and Klain were tearful during the White House announcement of his departure. His reasons for leaving have remained publicly unexplained and mysterious. During remarks, the president confirmed he has tapped Jeff Zients to replace Klain. Klain committed to assisting his successor to achieve an orderly transition.
Director of the National Economic Council
The White House also announced Brian Deese’s departure as the director of the NEC. Biden praised the advisor for helping to formulate and implement comprehensive economic policy and legislation. He contributed to the American Rescue Act, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPs and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, among others.
Critics point to the American Rescue Act as the main impetus for the skyrocketing inflation the nation has experienced. Others point to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as a huge contributor to the national debt. Most recently, conservative lawmakers have sought ways to limit how the Internal Revenue Service might use an $80-billion award received through the Inflation Reduction Act.
Deese has planned his departure for some time, according to The New York Times. Rather than uproot his family from their New England home, the advisor has commuted to Washington, DC, for his position for the last two years.
President Biden praised Deese’s work and thanked his family for allowing the administration to borrow him. As of the time of publication, the front-runner to replace the advisor for the director position is Lael Brainard, who currently serves as the vice chair of the Federal Reserve.
Copyright 2023, UnitedVoice.com