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10 Things in Politics: Inside Ron Klain's hellish summer

·6 min read
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Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about:

With Phil Rosen.

White House Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, with firefighters, Hurricane Ida victims, fleeing Afghanis, American military troops, and a nurse in PPE around him with military Chinook helicopters in the air and a large wildfire in the background.
David McNew/Getty Images; Sam Mooy/Getty Images; Scott Olson/Getty Images; Jim Lo Scalzo/White House Pool (ISP Pool Images)/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images; Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images; John Moore/Getty Image; Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider

1. THE INSIDER PROFILE: The White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, has barely decorated his office. Historically, the president's top aide doesn't last long. Dick Cheney blames the position for his first heart attack. Bill Daley thinks his time leading Barack Obama's White House gave him shingles. Klain is trying to steer the White House through a chaotic summer that includes the Delta coronavirus variant, a tumultuous end to America's longest war, and devastating storms linked to the climate crisis. So, the lonely picture frame on his desk is the least of his worries.

Here's a peek at Insider's massive profile on Klain:

Even in hyperpartisan times, chiefs of staff remain close: Nineteen of the 22 living former presidential chiefs of staff gave Klain advice during a December Zoom call. Mick Mulvaney - President Donald Trump's third chief of staff - was among those present.

Obama alums praised Klain for his work thus far: "Forget Trumpland. Ron's discipline is coming through with the lack of leaks around this place. Even from the Obama and Bush administrations, it's a stark contrast," Daley said.

  • The expert on the job also gave high marks: "I think you can make the argument that for the first six months of this presidency, he was among the most effective in modern history," Chris Whipple told my colleague. Whipple literally wrote the book on White House chiefs of staff. He added that Klain's job had more recently become much more complicated.

Read more about how growing up in Indiana shaped Ron Klain's life, including why Sen. Bobby Kennedy's speech after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination was a pivotal moment.

Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders. Joshua Lott/Getty Images

2. Sanders criticizes Manchin for trying to reduce Dems' $3.5 trillion plan: Sen. Bernie Sanders rejected Sen. Joe Manchin's latest efforts to rein in the party's massive social-spending plan that would fundamentally alter America's safety net, The Washington Post reports. Sanders said it was "absolutely not acceptable" that Manchin wanted to reduce the bill's size by perhaps more than 50%. Here's where things stand.

Check out Insider's explainer, which has the full details on the House Democrats' plan.

3. Surgeon general defends vaccine mandate for businesses: Surgeon General Vivek Murthy noted the long-standing vaccine requirements against other diseases at schools or hospitals. Republicans have blasted the Biden administration's plans, vowing swift legal challenges. Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina went so far as to promise to "fight them to the gates of hell." More on the reaction to Biden's mandate announcement.

4. Employers are being forced to make salaries public - that's good news for you: A growing number of states are enacting measures known as "pay transparency," which force companies to disclose their compensation levels. New laws are set to take effect in Connecticut and Nevada next month. The most far-reaching law, which Colorado implemented in January, compels businesses to include their salary ranges in every job posting - effectively making their payroll public. These measures represent nothing short of a revolution in the way salaries are negotiated.

5. Barrett worries about SCOTUS' reputation: "My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks," Justice Amy Coney Barrett said during a speech at the University of Louisville's McConnell Center. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the justice before she spoke at his namesake center. Barrett also criticized media coverage of the court and "hot takes on Twitter."

Republican conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder, left, listens as former actress and activist Rose McGowan speaks during as the pair hold a news conference at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021.
The Republican conservative radio talk-show host Larry Elder listening as Rose McGowan spoke at a news conference at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles on Sunday. Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

6. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Larry Elder make final recall push: Newsom spent the last weekend before California's recall election hoping to shore up Latino support, the Los Angeles Times reports. Elder held a news conference with the activist and actor Rose McGowan, who accused Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the state's first lady, of previously trying to silence her allegations against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein. A spokeswoman for Siebel Newsom denied the claims.

Here's our guide on everything you need to know about the recall that's just a day away.

7. Twenty-three states have per capita COVID-19 cases that surpass the national average: And of those 23 states, 21 voted for Trump in 2020, illustrating the persistent political divide in the nation's fight against the pandemic, The Post reports. A similar statistic applies when it comes to the number of per capita COVID-19 deaths. Read more about the red-blue divide.

8. US Capitol may be fenced in, again: Congressional security officials are expected to authorize the installation of a 7-foot fence and the use of deadly force for a far-right rally set to take place in Washington next weekend demanding the release of people charged in the January 6 Capitol riot, The Guardian reports. Final security recommendations are expected to be unveiled today.

9. Wall Street is worried about a big drop: US stocks are priced for perfection following a robust year of earnings growth, but high valuations suggest a sharp market sell-off could be imminent, Deutsche Bank warned last week. With expectations high for continued strong earnings growth, investors could soon be let down. More on why the bank sees little room left for improvement.

emma ratucanu us open win
Emma Raducanu of Britain with the US Open winner's trophy after her victory over Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the final of the women's singles of the US Open on Saturday. TPN/Getty Images

10. Emma Raducanu initially just wanted to win enough money to buy new AirPods: Raducanu told ESPN that her goal before her first-round qualifying match at the US Open three weeks ago was to win enough prize money to replace a pair of AirPods she had lost. After winning the tennis major and $2.5 million, the 18-year-old can now do whatever she wants.

Today's trivia question: The MTV VMAs were last night. (Here's your list of winners.) The award is known for its Moon Person statue, a nod to MTV showing footage of a space-shuttle launch when it began its first broadcast in 1981. Two different NASA missions were part of MTV's first video - can you name either one? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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