Can you even believe the headline?
President Obama today named veteran Democratic political operative and former White House staffer Ron Klain to take over the federal response to Ebola.
Klain was chief of staff for both former Vice President Gore and current Vice President Biden. He served as a Democratic staffer in the Senate. He helped lead the Florida recount effort for Al Gore against George W. Bush. He helped Obama prep for the 2008 debates and did the same for John Kerry in 2004. He currently works for AOL-minted zillioniare Steve Case.
He knows as much as you do about Ebola. He doesn’t even know anything about medicine, except as it relates, I assume, to whatever procedures he’s had.
I get why they chose Klain. Everyone in Washington likes him, he has lots of White House experience, understands the government process, and he has the confidence of the president. People will know that when Klain speaks, he does so with the authority of the president. All of that is valuable.
The problem is, at a time when people wouldn’t trust this White House to babysit their pet hamster, Obama has decided to bring in someone Americans have no reason to believe.
Klain’s loyalties lie with Obama, Biden, and the Democratic Party. Whatever his potential for effectiveness, Klain long ago drank the Democratic Koolaid, and it’s dripping through his pores.
His chief assignment will be public relations for the White House, which is really what he’s proven himself at. That is the essential task of a Washington politicians’ chief of staff: making sure the boss looks really good.
Was there no CEO from the healthcare sector, someone who perhaps even had some prior service at a high level of government, who could have run this thing? Why choose someone who is bound to have one eye on Obama’s political standing, another on the midterms, and another on Biden’s presidential prospects. You know, assuming of course he has three eyes.
The Ebola czar needs to be maniacally focused on Ebola. He needs to be able to contradict his political bosses, do things that are not in their interests, and even resign out of principle if necessary. There’s nothing in Ron Klain’s resume to suggest that the needs of Obama and Biden won’t be coming first as he he hands down his edicts to us serfs.