AMAC Exclusive – By Louis J. Senn
As Ron Klain departs the role of White House Chief of Staff in a few weeks, America will be saying goodbye to the most prolific tweeter ever to hold the critical post – a distinction that earned him the title of “Tweeter in Chief” from many conservative commentators.
For more than two years, Klain shamelessly pushed misleading and debunked administration talking points online, all while being sure to retweet every slobbering, over-the-top mainstream media journalist praising the greatness of President Joe Biden. With every post, Klain encapsulated just how out of touch and tone-deaf the liberal establishment and D.C. Beltway class are.
Here are a few lowlights.
Inflation is “Transitory”
In June 2021, Klain tweeted that the impacts of inflation would be “transitory,” and that “inflation [is] projected down to 2.1% in 2022.” But inflation continued to rise throughout 2021 and was nearing 8% by the end of the year. It soared above 9% in June of 2022, shattering Klain’s ill-fated prediction of 2.1%. 18 months later, the Biden administration still can’t shake the stench of the preposterous “transitory” claim.
Inflation and Supply Chain Gridlock are “High Class Problems”
Once it became clear that inflation was indeed not transitory, Klain shifted course with his now infamous quote tweet of a Harvard professor’s assertion that inflation and supply chain gridlock are “high class problems.” The White House had to run cover quickly to explain what Klain meant by his retweet. Unfortunately, Klain’s kneejerk response was only a confirmation of what the public already knew: this White House did not comprehend how burdensome the inflation crisis was to everyday Americans.
Gas Prices “Projected” to Come Down
Klain tweeted on December 8, 2021, that “gas prices are down somewhat,” further predicting that “they are projected to come down more.” Instead, gas prices soared to record highs in 2022, topping $5 per gallon in June.
Apparently not having learned his lesson, Klain again began touting slightly lower costs at the pump as prices eased toward the end of last year. But now, prices are again beginning to tick up, creating the potential for a whole new slate of embarrassing Tweets that the White House will have to defend even after Klain is gone.
2021 Was “Not All Bad”
Just when the White House thought they had moved past the backlash to the “high class” retweet, Klain tweeted out an article reviewing 2021 and saying that the year was “not all bad.” With inflation still on the rise, more COVID-19 deaths in 2021 than 2020 despite having the vaccine, and the disastrous Afghanistan evacuation still fresh in the minds of most Americans, Klain was quickly attacked from all sides for once again seeming oblivious to the mood of the country.
Defending Biden’s Unpopularity
After spending months ignoring Biden’s sinking approval numbers, Klain shared a story in April of last year citing French President Emmanuel Macron’s election victory despite low approval ratings as an argument that Biden could win re-election with similarly low numbers. The tweet was an apparent acknowledgement of Biden’s dismal polling figures, with critics slamming Klain for appearing to take comfort in the idea that Biden could win with 36% approval rather than working to gain the support of the American people.
Undermining Defense on Vaccine Mandate Lawsuit
As court battles raged over the Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate, Klain retweeted a post from reporter Stephanie Ruhle that argued “OSHA doing this vax mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.”
When the mandate made its way to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts referenced the language of the tweet and asked the Biden administration: “I’m wondering what it is you’re trying to work around?” Even liberal publications at the time criticized Klain for retweeting the post due to its implications for pending litigation. The Supreme Court ultimately struck down the mandate.
Violating the Hatch Act
The media ran itself ragged accusing the Trump administration of Hatch Act violations. But it was Ron Klain who received an official warning last year for violating the law which prohibits government employees from using official time and resources to engage in political activities.
The reprimand stemmed from a May 2022 post where Klain retweeted a message from a left-wing PAC from his official chief of staff account promoting “Democrats Deliver merchandise.” The post also included a link to the PAC’s online store. Though most of the media fell curiously silent, Ana Galindo-Marrone, chief of the Hatch Act Unit at the Office of Special Counsel, blasted Klain for “using his official Twitter account to promote a partisan political group’s interests.”
Of course, Klain didn’t confine himself and his poorly-aging commentary to just Twitter. He was also a constant presence on CNN and MSNBC defending everything from school closures to Biden’s disastrous handling of the Afghanistan evacuation. But his Twitter habits provided perhaps the best window into just how clueless the Biden administration is, and how unwilling they are to admit when their policies have failed.
While we can’t expect incoming Chief of Staff Jeff Zients to be quite so prolific on social media, we may nonetheless expect just as much denial and lack of introspection from the Biden White House.
Louis J. Senn is a lawyer living in Louisville, Kentucky. He previously served in the Trump administration.