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White House chief of staff Ron Klain to step down

White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who has served in the position since the start of the administration, is preparing to step down, a source familiar with his plans confirmed to The Hill.

Klain will likely leave following President Biden’s State of the Union address on Feb. 7, The New York Times first reported, citing senior administration officials. Klain has told colleagues since the midterm elections in November that he is preparing to leave.

The White House did not respond to a request for confirmation or comment from The Hill.

A successor is not yet in place, but names floated include Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, senior adviser Anita Dunn, domestic policy adviser Susan Rice and former coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients.

Klain is expected to remain in his current role for some time to help his successor acclimate, the source said.

Klain is a longtime adviser to Biden and has been in the role for longer than any other Democratic president’s chief of staff. The White House has experienced very little turnover among top level officials throughout Biden’s tenure, with no Cabinet officials stepping down and nearly all of Biden’s closest senior aides remaining on the job.

Biden celebrated two years in office on Friday. Klain, who is known for being prolific on Twitter, said to mark the day, “Two hard years. So much to be done. But so much progress.”

Klain’s pending departure comes as Biden readies for a possible reelection bid. The president is on track to signal that he will seek another term around the time of the State of the Union.

Klain’s exit is expected to precede broader staff changes as some in the White House transition out to work on a 2024 re-election campaign.

Biden’s approval rating was slowly rising following the better-than-expected midterm results for Democrats but dropped to 40 percent, which is nearing his record low, this week after the discovery of classified documents from his time as vice president.

– Updated 3:52 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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