It’s hard to think of many unelected Americans who have been as close to the power center of politics as Ron Klain. He has served in three Democratic presidential administrations, advised countless campaigns, steered judicial nominations, jousted in high-stakes debate prep sessions, and navigated the complexities of the federal bureaucracy from the very top. Klain has been in the room for the moments that have shaped history. He ran point on the Florida recount for Al Gore, secured the appointment of a history-making Supreme Court Justice, and steered the Obama White House through an Ebola outbreak that threatened the globe.
That might be a flattering enough resume for most people in Washington. But not Klain. His friendship with Joe Biden brought him to the 2020 presidential campaign, and ultimately to Pennsylvania Avenue once again, when Biden appointed his longtime advisor to the coveted position of White House Chief of Staff. In two tumultuous years, Klain helped Biden fight off the coronavirus pandemic, sign into law the biggest climate investment in American history, and pass the most comprehensive piece of gun safety legislation in three decades. Klain was also in the Oval for the stories that have threatened Biden’s presidency—the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the sudden onset of inflation, and a political culture that’s more divided and toxic than it’s ever been. Somewhere in there, Klain still found time to tweet.
Klain is the embodiment of what we aspire to cover at Puck, the power players who are shaping American society. That’s why we were delighted to invite Klain to join me in conversation at the Hay-Adams this Monday, October 23, as part of Puck’s new live event series, The Powers That Be: Live. In these private interviews, set in glamorous venues from D.C. to New York and L.A., featured invitees will share their invaluable insights about the forces shaping their worlds. (The next event will feature Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria in conversation with Matt Bellloni, on Nov. 11, followed by Goldman Sachs C.E.O. David Solomon with Bill Cohan early next year.)