2021 Man of the Year: Ron Klain

White House chief of staff Ron Klain / Getty Images
December 30, 2021

Joe Biden may be one of the least accessible presidents in recent history, rarely giving press conferences or interviews. Thanks to his chief of staff, Ron Klain, his administration is one of the most transparent.

A look into Klain's Twitter feed—both on his work and private accounts—can teleport any journalist or civically engaged citizen into the Oval Office. Even before Biden took power the public knew his administration supported a massive hike in the federal minimum wage, thanks to a Klain retweet of a Democrat businessman alleging that Americans are entitled to $23 an hour.

We reported last summer where Klain finds inspiration for crafting policy: the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin. In some cases, Klain takes direct orders from the former conservative-turned-far-left opinion maker. Recall how Biden's Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Georgia for its new election law shortly after Rubin issued a demand on Twitter—which Klain "liked"—that Attorney General Merrick Garland resign for not suing enough Republicans.

Americans also know, for example, that the Biden administration doesn't consider inflation anything more than an issue for the wealthy. In October, Klain endorsed a statement from former Obama administration economist Jason Furman that "most of the economic problems we're facing are high class problems." Since then, inflation has surged to a 40-year high.

When the country was shocked and appalled by how the Biden administration so horrendously botched the Afghanistan withdrawal, the answer was in plain sight online: Senior White House officials, such as Klain, were sitting on Twitter instead. Moments before the deadly terrorist attack that killed 13 American service members, as the scene at Kabul's airport got increasingly chaotic and dangerous, Klain liked a tweet by a leftwing pundit asking the media to cover the Biden administration more favorably, arguing that "we know war is messy."

Sometimes Klain's habits make him an unintentional ally of liberty, such as when a retweet of his ended up cited in an appellate judge's order blocking the federal vaccine mandate. A footnote in the 22-page ruling said that Klain's retweet of MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle calling the OSHA vaccine mandate "an ultimate work-around for the federal government to require vaccinations" was an "endorsement" of an illegal practice.

The journalists at the Washington Free Beacon congratulate Ron Klain for his unparalleled efforts in public communication and choose him as a Man of the Year.

Published under: Man of the Year