“Finding a successor who encompasses all of those skills will not be easy and may well be impossible,” Ms. Tenpas said. “They are headed into a re-election campaign that also increases Ron’s value in that he has campaign experience and political skills. In addition, the chief of staff’s Capitol Hill experience could come in handy as they confront divided government.”
By this point in his presidency, Donald J. Trump was already on his third chief of staff and his third national security adviser and had lost more than half of his original 15 cabinet secretaries. By contrast, none of Mr. Biden’s statutory cabinet members have left. In fact, even Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, who some had speculated might step down after the midterm elections, recently told Mr. Biden that she would stay.
Ms. Tenpas calculates Mr. Biden’s turnover in his most important positions at 40 percent in the first two years, far lower than the 66 percent turnover in the same period under Mr. Trump, although higher than other recent presidents, like Barack Obama, who saw just 24 percent in his first two years.
Still, few of those who left were at the senior-most level or part of the president’s inner circle, which has remained broadly intact. Mr. Biden’s overall turnover rate is higher than it would have been otherwise in part because of turmoil in Vice President Kamala Harris’s office, where staff members have come and gone with more frequency.
Other departures are anticipated, possibly after the president’s State of the Union address, scheduled for Feb. 7. Brian Deese, the president’s national economic adviser, is expected to leave later this year, while Cecilia Rouse is expected to leave her post as chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers to return to Princeton University.
Mr. Klain, 61, who grew up in Indiana, graduated from Georgetown and earned a law degree from Harvard, has now served under three presidents and brought more White House experience to his post than perhaps any of his predecessors. He was associate counsel to President Bill Clinton, counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno and then chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore. A central figure in Mr. Gore’s futile fight to win the election recount in Florida in 2000, Mr. Klain was later played by Kevin Spacey in the 2008 HBO film “Recount.”
Mr. Klain also worked for Mr. Biden’s Senate office and served as Mr. Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president before becoming Mr. Obama’s Ebola response coordinator. Altogether, he served under nine previous White House chiefs of staff. “I have worked for more White House chiefs of staff than any other White House chief of staff,” Mr. Klain once boasted.