He has one of the busiest jobs in Washington, and for White House chief of staff Ron Klain, it all started right here in Indianapolis.
“Growing up here in Indiana taught me the value of hard work and humility,” Klain said in an exclusive one-on-one interview with CBS4 about his role in the nation’s capital, known for its frequently grueling schedule and highly-pointed criticism.
“The hours are long and the pressures are high,” said Klain, whose love of politics came at an early age.
The 1979 graduate of North Central High School says seeing the late Robert F. Kennedy come to Indianapolis to campaign in 1968 sparked a life-long passion for politics.
“I was six years old,” said Klain. “Kennedy’s campaign was looking for somewhere to film a commercial and they picked my Dad’s shop kind of randomly… I had the chance to meet (him) that day and I was just so impressed and inspired.”
He’d go on to serve with two Vice Presidents and led the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola virus.
Now he’s at President Biden’s side as the country emerges from the global pandemic – and deals with the impact of soaring inflation.
“It doesn’t really matter if you’re Democrat or Republican, we’re all Americans, and we need to have a better economy,” said Klain. “The President’s been working on bringing down the price of gasoline… we’ve also worked on bringing down the price of food and groceries.”
Though the midterms brought mixed results for the White House, the nation’s economic woes have certainly posed a challenge for the Biden administration, impacting the President’s approval ratings throughout his first two years.
Still, Klain says he thinks President Biden will indeed run for re-election in 2024, though he’s not entirely sure how long he’ll serve as chief of staff.
At nearly two years, he’s already served longer than many have previously.
In the meantime, this holiday weekend he says it’s nice to be back home, if only for a short while.
“It’s always great to be home. I’ve only been here a couple times the last two years but it’s always great to be home in Indiana,” said Klain. “I think Hoosiers are raised to work hard… that’s what I try to bring to my job at the White House.”
You can see more of our interview with Klain coming up Sunday morning at 9:30 on this week’s edition of IN Focus.