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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 01/14/2011

Biden taps Bruce Reed as new chief of staff

By Perry Bacon Jr.

Vice-President Biden named former Clinton administration domestic policy adviser Bruce Reed his new chief of staff on Friday, the latest move in a recent staff reshuffle that has brought several Clinton era veterans into key roles in the Obama White House.

"We've known and admired Bruce for over 20 years," Biden said in a statement. "We worked closely together to pass the crime bill in the 1990s and I've frequently sought his advice and counsel in the years since."

Reed will replace Ron Klain, whois leaving the administration this month after serving for two years as Biden's chief of staff. Reed, who most recently served as executive director of the Bowles-Simpson Commission that issued a report in December on how to reduce the budget deficit, was Clinton's top domestic policy adviser for four
years.

His appointment follows that of Clinton's Commerce Secretary, William Daley, as the new White House chief of staff and Gene Sperling as head of the National Economic Council, a post he held in the Clinton administration.

Reed was a key adviser behind some of Clinton's main legislative proposals, from welfare reform to calling for increased use of school uniforms. Obama has suggested that the uniform initiative is the kind of small-bore, symbolic initiative he wants to avoid as president.

The appointment of Reed, the former head of a centrist group called the Democratic Leadership Council, could further raise the concerns of liberal Democrats who are worried Obama will shift farther to the political center than they would like over the next two years.

Biden also announced Michael C. Donilon, who joined the vice-president's staff after the 2008 election but departed for a time, will be returning as a counselor to Biden. Donilon's brother Tom is the National Security Adviser.

Biden's full press release follows:

Washington, DC - Vice President Joe Biden announced today that Bruce Reed will succeed Ron Klain in the role of Chief of Staff for the Office of the Vice President. Mr. Reed has most recently worked for the Administration as Executive Director of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also known as the Bowles-Simpson Commission. In addition, the Vice President announced that one of his closest advisors, Michael C. Donilon, will be returning to his previous position as Counselor to the Vice President.
"I've known and admired Bruce for over 20 years," said Vice President Biden. "We worked closely together to pass the crime bill in the 1990s and I've frequently sought his advice and counsel in the years since. He brings a unique blend of experience and perspective to this position and his leadership will be a tremendous asset to my office, and to the entire White House. I'm also very pleased that my friend and closest advisor, Mike Donilon, will be returning to the White House in his role as Counselor. His wit, humor and guidance have been missed and we are all very happy to have him back."
"I'm very excited to join Vice President Biden's team, and to work with the fine staff he has assembled. I'm thrilled that he asked me to take on this role, and I look forward to helping him advance the important agenda of the Obama-Biden administration," said Reed.
Bruce Reed's previous work in the White House came during the Clinton-Gore administration, where he spent four years as the Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to the President, after two years as Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor and two years as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Planning. During this period, he helped President Clinton win passage of landmark welfare reform, the Clinton education agenda, and much more. On behalf of the Clinton-Gore Administration, Reed worked closely with then-Senator Biden to help craft and win passage of the 1994 Biden Crime Bill, which included then-Senator Biden's Violence Against Women Act and his initiative to put 100,000 cops on the streets.
Prior to the Clinton-Gore administration, Reed was deputy campaign manager for policy for the Clinton-Gore campaign and previously served on the staff of then-Senator Al Gore from 1985-1989. From 1990-1991, he served as policy director for the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Reed returned to the DLC in January 2001, where he served as Chief Executive Officer until his appointment nine months ago as the Executive Director of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. A native of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Reed is a graduate of Princeton University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
Reed's formal title will be Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President.

By Perry Bacon Jr.  | January 14, 2011; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Glad to hear Joe is becoming rested and ready. The president's psychological issues become more troubling by the day. And I worry that some of the president's nominal allies in the financial community might think his stock higher as a martyr.

Posted by: bjerryberg | January 17, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The grip of Clinton tightens.

Posted by: peterroach | January 14, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse


It doesn't take much to "add" anything to this President's team. ... but isn't this announcement about Biden's team?

?? Assistant to the President (?) and ... ??

Constant reshuffling the characters ... appears to be REORGANIZATION ... which is shorthand for ...

"A new pair of pants with the same A**holes in them."

Take me back to Oz.

Posted by: esquire2 | January 14, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the duplication it was a program error, not my doing.

Posted by: KellyJ2 | January 14, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

There are some questions that have been bothering me. It seems that this administration has a few pools to draw from in the selection of people. Tax Evaders, Chicago Cronies, or the Clinton pool of administration people. I'm just wondering is there no other people out there that are willing to serve in this administration?

Posted by: KellyJ2 | January 14, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

There are some questions that have been bothering me. It seems that this administration has a few pools to draw from in the selection of people. Tax Evaders, Chicago Cronies, or the Clinton pool of administration people. I'm just wondering is there no other people out there that are willing to serve in this administration?

Posted by: KellyJ2 | January 14, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Bruce Reed? Isn't he Batman? Or is that Wayne...?

Posted by: Jerryvov | January 14, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Seasoned, steady, smart and extremely hard working -- Bruce will add much to the President's team.

A great pick by VP Biden!!

Posted by: grosselli | January 14, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama has a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform? Should it re-renamed the National Commission on Fiscal Reform...Leave off the Responsibility part, becasue that part of the commission has been asleep at the wheel....

Posted by: CaPatriot | January 14, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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