Nearly halfway through President Biden’s second year in office, with midterms on the horizon and senior staff either burning out or eager to sell out, “Transition 2.0” — the rapid departure of said senior staff with an influx of new personnel — is growing closer. One position we’re keeping a close eye on is Biden’s next Chief of Staff. Currently filled by Ron Klain, this is Biden’s de facto power broker. He helps the president make decisions and acts as a gatekeeper for the many, MANY forces, good and bad, who’d like to influence the president.
The following people have been rumored as contenders to replace Klain when he inevitably leaves office. This list will be continuously updated as information becomes available. Questions and intel can be directed to Dorothy Slater (email@example.com).
Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans and current “Infrastructure Czar” responsible for implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is often portrayed as a pragmatic progressive but in reality is a neoliberal corporatist. He and his family are deeply tied to the fossil fuel industry and his record as mayor is one of siding with business interests.
- “Fossil Fuel Loyalist Mitch Landrieu Is Bifden’s Pick To Manage $1.2 Million Infrastructure Bill”
- “Biden’s Infrastructure Czar Comes With Friendly Record On Fossil Fuels”
Susan Rice is currently head of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates executive branch policy on domestic issues that are not explicitly economic in nature. She is one of the wealthiest members of Biden’s administration and reported multimillion dollar holdings in several oil and gas firms, including Enbridge.
- “Keystone XL Investor Susan Rice Has Kept Up Her Fossil Fuel Investments — And Now Oversees Tribal Relations Across The Executive Branch”
Jeffrey Zients was the White House’s top COVID-19 coordinator until a hasty exit in March of 2022. After cashing in on a career of controlling and investing in health care companies which engaged in Medicare and Medicaid fraud, he led Biden’s administration in downplaying the health impacts of COVID-19, encouraging an end to mask mandates, and incentivizing a premature return to the workplace.
- “The Corporate Past of Jeffrey Zients”
- “Fire Jeff Zients”
- “Does Jeffrey Zients Have the Private-Sector Experience We Want in Government?”
Bruce Reed is a longtime Biden ally who was a key architect in the Democratic Party’s embrace of neoliberal economic policies. He helped design the 1994 Crime Bill, has argued in favor of cutting social programs, and has even collaborated with Betsy DeVos and Jeb Bush to fight against teacher unions.
- “RDP Watchlist: Bruce Reed”
- “Keep Bruce Reed out of Joe Biden’s Cabinet!”
- Twitter thread: “Giving Bruce Reed any job […] is an act of deliberately ignoring the most harmful policies Democrats have pursued over the last 30 years”
- “Biden’s Mr. Austerity: Bruce Reed”
Brian Deese, current director of the National Economic Council, was formerly BlackRock’s head of sustainable investing. In essence, he was the spokesperson for the biggest greenwashing scam of our time after helping to negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement.
- “Brian Deese’s Policy Record Hurt The Most Vulnerable”
- “On Climate Policy, Biden’s Advisers Reveal More Than His Proposals Do”
- “BlackRock’s ‘Greenwashing’ Threatens to Undermine Climate Action”
Jake Sullivan is currently Biden’s National Security Advisor. He was a shadow lobbyist during the Trump years at a firm called Macro Advisory Partners, where he advised corporations including Microsoft. In 2020 he also was hired by Uber to lead in behind-the-scenes negotiations to help avoid a California law that would have required Uber to classify their drivers as employees.
- “Jake Sullivan Advised Microsoft On Policy, And Now Coordinates With Microsoft On Policy. What Could Go Wrong?”
- “What Will Be Revealed in Jake Sullivan’s Financial Disclosures?”
- “How a Biden Adviser Got a Gig With Uber”
Image credit: “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.