10 Facts About Ron Klain, Lawyer-Turned-'Ebola Czar'
Ron Klain has served as Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents: Al Gore and Joseph Biden. He's a Democratic Party bigwig. Heck, he was even a Supreme Court clerk once upon a time.
Now? Klain just been appointed to the position of Ebola "czar" (formally known as the one-man "response coordinator"). He's set to begin his new duties Wednesday, CNN reports.
Here are a few fun facts about the guy with the worst title in the entire Obama administration, courtesy of the questionable source that is Wikipedia:
- Kevin Spacey played the part of Ron Klain in the HBO film "Recount", a dramatic retelling of the 2000 presidential election.
- Klain graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law, where he tied for highest GPA and was editor of the Harvard Law Review.
- Klain clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron "Whizzer" White for both the 1987 and 1988 terms.
- Klain was Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee during Justice Clarence Thomas' controversial nomination hearings.
- Klain oversaw President Bill Clinton's judicial nominations, including the "let's pretend we care about women and minorities, oh wait, Cuomo's not available" nomination of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- Klain was kicked out of the Gore administration during a staff civil war (Clinton loyalists v. Gore loyalists), left for O'Melveny & Myers, then returned to the Gore campaign.
- Klain was General Counsel for Gore's Recount Committee.
- Klain helped lobby Congress on behalf of Fannie May, allegedly helping to convince Congress that the agency was not engaging in risky business. (Whoops.)
- Klain was a key advisor for John Kerry's presidential bid, helping to prep him for his debate against President George W. Bush.
- Klain is now the "Ebola response coordinator," also known as the "Ebola czar," reports Reuters.
Why the new job title? The move comes after a few diagnosed cases of Ebola in Dallas. One of the patients, a healthcare worker who treated the first known case, flew to Cleveland last weekend. Government officials have tracked down and are monitoring anyone she came into contact with.
Many lawmakers, however, are criticizing Klain's appointment, in part because he has no medical background. Like it or not, Klain is now face of the response team, replacing Centers for Disease Control director Thomas Frieden, who himself has been criticized for the CDC's response to the initial Dallas Ebola patient.
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