Ebola Czar Ron Klain might not be too long for the job, eying a more senior position that would put him right next to the president.
According to Politico’s Mike Allen:
Administration insiders say Ron Klain, who starts Wednesday as the White House Ebola czar, will be in line to succeed John Podesta as counselor to President Barack Obama when Podesta leaves, likely to chair Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“The president has been talking to Ron about different roles for a long time, and he wouldn’t accept the Ebola job unless there was a promise of something bigger,” said a longtime Klain colleague. A senior Democrat who works closely with the White House said: “He’s very good at seeing around corners. And they know they need someone who can do that.”
Klain also would be a candidate to succeed chief of staff Denis McDonough, although McDonough seems to love his job and may stay, the insiders said.
Now that’s telling. He’s very good at seeing around corners. Suggests what people suspect: that Klain, a veteran senior White House staffer and Democratic operative, was put in the Ebola job to protect the president. Surely, if he’s angling for a promotion, political damage control will be job one.
I suppose Klain will have to first avoid screwing up the non-political side of the Ebola job, although in this White House that might not necessarily be a disqualification.
The “counselor to the president” post is in some ways the most powerful, or at least most influential, in the White House. It gives one complete access to the president’s ear without the burdens of an official portfolio or management responsibilities.