“Finding a successor that encompasses all of these capabilities will not be easy and may be impossible,” Ms. Tenpas said. “You are heading for a re-election campaign which also increases Ron’s value given his campaign experience and political skills. Additionally, the experience of the chief of staff on Capitol Hill could prove useful when faced with divided government.”
By this point in his presidency, Donald J. Trump was his third chief of staff and third national security adviser, and had lost more than half of his original 15 cabinet secretaries. In contrast, none of Mr. Biden’s legal cabinet members have left. In fact, even Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, who some had speculated might step down after the midterm elections, recently told Mr. Biden that she would stay.
Ms. Tenpas calculates Mr. Biden’s turnover in his key positions as 40 percent in the first two years, far less than the 66 percent turnover in the same period under Mr. Trump, although higher than other recent presidents, such as Barack Obama, who saw just 24 percent in its first two years.
Still, few of those who left were at the highest level or part of the president’s inner circle, which has remained largely intact. Mr. Biden’s overall turnover rate is higher than usual, due in part to the turmoil in Vice President Kamala Harris’ office, where employees have come and gone more frequently.
More departures are expected, possibly after the president’s State of the Union address, which is scheduled for February 7. Brian Deese, the president’s national economic adviser, is expected to depart later this year, while Cecilia Rouse is expected to give up her post as chair of the president’s council of economic advisers to return to Princeton University.
Mr. Klain, 61, who grew up in Indiana, graduated from Georgetown and received his law degree from Harvard, has now served under three presidents and brought more White House experience to his post than perhaps any of his predecessors. He was Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton, Advisor to Attorney General Janet Reno, and then Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore. Mr. Klain, a central character in Mr. Gore’s vain battle to win the Florida 2000 recount, was later played by Kevin Spacey in the HBO film Recount (2008).
Mr. Klain also worked for Mr. Biden’s Senate office and served as Mr. Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president before becoming Mr. Obama’s Ebola response coordinator. Overall, he served under nine previous White House chiefs of staff. “I’ve worked for more White House chiefs of staff than any other White House chief of staff,” Mr. Klain once boasted.