Politics Swirl Around President’s Ebola ‘Czar’ Pick
News outlets covered the partisan reaction to the president's decision.
USA Today: Obama Names Ron Klain As Ebola 'czar'
President Obama tapped veteran government insider Ron Klain to coordinate his administration's efforts to contain the Ebola virus Friday. Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, is well-known by Obama and White House aides. He was selected for his management experience and contacts throughout the government, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. ... "He is the right person for the job," Earnest said, particularly the challenge of "integrating the interagency response." Klain's appointment marks a swift turnabout for Obama, who until Thursday had resisted calls to appoint a single official to run the government's response to Ebola (Jackson, 10/17).
Politico: President Obama Selects Ron Klain As Ebola Czar
Klain will report to Obama homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco, who had been more informally coordinating the administration’s response, and to National Security Adviser Susan Rice. ... [Klain] was also a key member of the team that helped Obama prepare for presidential debates. He is currently president of Case Holdings, former AOL chairman Steve Case’s holding company, and general counsel of investment firm Revolution (Epstein, 10/17).
The Associated Press: Ebola 'Czar' Knows Washington, But Not Medicine
[Klain] does have a wealth of experience managing unruly federal bureaucracies in times of crisis. The White House says that makes him the perfect candidate to shepherd the government's response to a deadly, growing outbreak. ... Under immense pressure to step up his response, Obama turned to Klain on Friday. He's being asked to synchronize an alphabet blizzard of federal agencies: the CDC, NIH, HHS, DHS, FDA and DOD, to name a few (Lederman, 10/16).
CNN: GOP Slams Klain Pick As Ebola Czar
"This appointment is both shocking and frankly tone deaf to what the American people are concerned about," Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy said in a written statement. ... One after another, top GOP members on Capitol Hill zeroed in on Klain's campaign experience as the wrong kind of background for the post (Walsh, 10/17).
Bloomberg: Obama Says Travel Ban For Ebola May Make Situation Worse
Obama used his weekly address to the nation to discuss Ebola, capping a week that included canceled campaign events, emergency meetings and the appointment of an administration official to coordinate response to the disease. ... Obama again sought to reassure the public that Ebola was difficult to catch and the likelihood of an epidemic was low. “I’ve met with an Ebola patient who recovered, right in the Oval Office,” he said. “And I’m fine" (Olorunnipa, 10/18).
The New York Times: Amid Assurances On Ebola, Obama Is Said To Seethe
Beneath the calming reassurance that President Obama has repeatedly offered during the Ebola crisis, there is a deepening frustration, even anger, with how the government has handled key elements of the response. Those frustrations spilled over when Mr. Obama convened his top aides in the Cabinet room after canceling his schedule on Wednesday. ... “It’s not tight,” a visibly angry Mr. Obama said of the response, according to people briefed on the meeting (Shear and Landler, 10/17).
The New York Times: Health Scare in Texas Also Sends Political Ripples
Along with dramas of disease transmission, treatment protocols and personal safety, one story line about the Ebola cases here has concerned the man who wasn’t there, sort of. Gov. Rick Perry. As national attention has obsessively focused on the three Ebola cases diagnosed here, Mr. Perry has been somewhat removed and, for a time, even absent (Fernandez, 10/16).
Politico: Rick Perry's Ebola Test
At first, Perry seemed to have everything under control. When a man in Dallas was diagnosed with the deadly virus, Perry held an Oct. 1 news conference, assuring the public that “there are few places in the world better equipped to meet the challenges posed by this case.” ... But then he left Sunday for a long-planned 7-day trip (Glueck, 10/17).