Opinion | What’s Keeping Biden’s Chief of Staff Up at Night?

Produced by ‘Sway’

As the White House chief of employees, Ron Klain helps decide how the president spends scarce assets like time and political capital.

Kara Swisher interviews him 5 months into the job — at a second when the nation is shy of President Biden’s July four vaccine goal and the administration has simply averted the unraveling of a bipartisan infrastructure deal that also has to crawl via a polarized Congress. Kara presses Klain on whether or not the president’s formidable agenda and give attention to bipartisanship will succeed — or whether or not infrastructure shall be “Biden’s Obamacare,” costing Democrats their majority within the House and the Senate in 2022. Klain notes, “There’ll be obviously more of a time and a place for the focus on the politics of 2022,” however “the best way we can do well in 2022 is to get things done in 2021.”

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The dialog additionally dives into the pandemic response, the Delta variant and the way social media platforms are petri dishes of pandemic misinformation. And when Klain describes a current dialog with Mark Zuckerberg and complains about Facebook and different platforms not doing extra to fight misinformation, Kara is fast to press him on what the Biden administration plans to do to manage tech giants. After all, she reminds him, “you’re the government.”

(A full transcript of the episode shall be out there noon on the Times web site.)

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Daphne Chen, and edited by Nayeema Raza and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez; viewers technique by Shannon Busta. Special due to Kristin Lin and Liriel Higa.