Today in the transition: Biden names chief of staff

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While Trump still refuses to concede, the Biden camp is already preparing for the transition. We can expect important leadership picks to be announced in the coming weeks. Here at the Signal, we’ll be providing you all the information you need as president-elect Biden starts building his administration. 

On Wednesday evening, Biden announced Ron Klain as his Chief of Staff, the first major pick of his administration. A lawyer and long-time Democratic operative, Klain brings decades of government experience to the table. Klain’s relationship with Biden goes back to the late 1980s, when Klain worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee that Biden led at the time. 

Klain has had a storied career since then, having served as chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore and later working on Gore’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. Having overseen Gore’s 2000 Florida recount effort, he knows a thing or two about contested elections. 

Klain also served as Biden’s vice presidential chief of staff from 2009-2011, making him an obvious choice to be chief of staff for the Biden White House.

Another important qualification in Klain’s resume is his stint as Obama’s “Ebola czar” during the 2014 outbreak. In the era of COVID-19, this experience will certainly come in handy as the Biden administration focuses on tackling the pandemic. 

Klain’s selection as chief of staff is a sign that Biden will value experience in putting together his team, something that we should expect from any president but has often been lacking with the current administration. 
The New York Times reports that Biden won’t announce cabinet picks until around Thanksgiving, although speculation is already abound. We’ll be following closely as names are put forward in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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