President Obama’s new “Ebola czar” Ron Klain is not only a skilled political operator, but a longtime Washington D.C. partisan insider.
Klain’s history of working for key Democrats in Washington suggests that Obama is picking someone that will not just silence some media critics, but members of his own party. His partisan nature, however, is likely to draw fire from Republican critics.
As Chief of Staff for Vice President Joe Biden, Klain was largely responsible for bringing then-TIME reporter Jay Carney to the White House as the Press Secretary for Biden. Carney moved to the Obama administration after Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stepped down in 2011.
Carney returned the favor after it was announced that Klain would be appointed by Obama.
As Biden’s chief of staff, he helped the Vice President negotiate the stimulus legislation, wrangling Republican votes in the Senate. He was also involved with the political aspects of the green energy grants.
He also coordinated Biden’s response to the stimulus after Obama famously appointed the Vice President “Sheriff Joe” to combat reports of waste.
Klain stepped down from his position with Biden, in 2011, to become the president of Case Holdings, but he still maintained a relationship with the Obama administration.
During the 2012 election, Klain helped Obama prepare for debates with Mitt Romney, as he already had a history of preparing former Vice President Al Gore and 2004 Democratic nominee for president John Kerry.
As the chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore, Klain was deeply involved in the political battle of the 2000 election recount in Florida, remaining profoundly upset about the conclusion of that fight.