Who is really Running the White House3 min read
Ron Klain and Susan Rice Take the Lead as Joe Biden Disappears on Vacation
President Joe Biden’s staff continue trumpeting the president’s legislative victories but have allowed the president to disappear into his August vacation.
Earlier this week, Biden appeared at the White House briefly to sign his massive green energy and health care bill but has not taken questions from reporters at the White House or appeared for any interviews to promote his agenda.
He has spent most of August out of sight, as he spent a week at Kiawah Island before returning to Delaware for another week off. This week, the president only emerged from his home in Delaware to golf once with his brother James on Friday and once with his deceased son Beau Biden’s father-in-law Ron Olivere.
While the president is away, Biden’s staff are taking the lead on communications, as they appear to have no interest in putting the president in front of a camera.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain briefed Politico’s Playbook on Friday with their August messaging effort, which is underway without the president.
“I definitely get more done when he’s not here,” Klain bragged. “No question about it.”
He defended hiding Biden from the public, as the president has racked up a record 150 days away from the White House in his home state of Delaware.
“I don’t think it’s true he’s out there less than his predecessors,” Klain said. “I just think Donald Trump created an expectation of a president creating a shitstorm every single day.”
As president, Trump routinely took questions from reporters even while on his summer vacation.
Klain appeared on CNN and on MSNBC boasting of Biden’s recently passed multi-billion dollar spending bills and giving the president credit as the price of gasoline dropped below the record highs from earlier in the summer.
Klain struggled to explain why Biden’s approval numbers remained in the 30s, despite his action on these bills.
“I think it’s going to take a while, for people to appreciate that, react to that,” he said during an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I think we are going to see the people respond to the leadership of President Biden.”
Susan Rice, Biden’s director of the Domestic Policy Council, also emerged with a messaging strategy about the rise of anger in the country from Trump supporters after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.
Rice announced details of Biden’s “unity summit” planned in September at the White House.
“Hate must have no safe harbor in America,” she wrote on the White House website noting the summit would “counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety.”
Described as Biden’s behind-the-scenes “power broker,” in the White House, Rice is a rumored successor to White House chief of staff Ron Klain should he leave his position.
All signs point to staff continuing to keep Biden away from reporter questions and interviews about his presidency ahead of the November mid-term elections.
The president plans to spend the weekend at his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach in Delaware with plans to make a public appearance on August 30.
Biden intends to address rising crime in a speech in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, announcing his “Safer America Plan” to reduce gun crimes.