Because of his service as Ebola Czar, @RonaldKlain kind of became a Pandemic Guy even before Covid and then when Covid hit he was THE pandemic guy.

But the most important part of the story is that when he got the Ebola ob, the knock on him was that he wasn’t qualified.
He’s not a doctor, he’s not a research scientist, he wasn’t an expert in the politics of West Africa, he was just like this veteran political guy who was highly respected by people who knew him.

But it turned out to be a great pick — politics is a distinct sphere of endeavor.
The question of what to do is inherently more complicated than “listen to the scientists.”

You have to listen to them, of course, but they don’t all agree and there’s a balance of considerations and a whole of government to coordinate.

He did great.
It bodes well for his time as Chief of Staff but it’s also the most optimistic possible view of a coming Biden administration — Joe Biden is an honest to God career politician in an era when that’s a dirty word.
But to make the best of what’s left of our ability to mitigate the virus, to distribute vaccines, to coax more relief out of congress, and to find ways to make progress on climate is going to take a lot of politics — there’s no magic trick or technical sleight of hand.
Biden was not my first choice (or second or third or fourth) in the primary but he made the right calls during the campaign and in what’s going to be a very closely divided congress what it’s going to take is politics more than vision — I’m cautiously hopeful.

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More from @mattyglesias

13 Nov
Hey folks, some personal news.

Co-founding @voxdotcom with @ezraklein & @MelissaBell has been one of the great adventures of my life but after 6+ years on the job I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to something new that I’m really excited about.
I’ve been wanting for some time to reclaim what I had in my blog days as an independent voice, and a great opportunity has arisen for me to do that on Substack where today I’m launching a new site that you can find and read all about here:…
Parting is always bittersweet and I’ll miss so many colleagues so very much but I’m looking forward to really telling everyone what’s on my mind to an even greater extent than I do now :)
Read 5 tweets
13 Nov
Notwithstanding my earlier grousing about Turchin, I think “elite overproduction” is an excellent framework within which to understand intra-caucus tensions among House Democrats.
The people who become members of congress are ambitious. But in the Dem system it takes forever to chair a committee, there’s no upward mobility in caucus leadership, and members have no ability to influence legislation.

So what do they do? Factional infighting!
You want to be able to say to people “hey if you chilled out, made a bit less trouble, put your head down, and really did the work you could _____.”

But what’s the ____ for House Dems?
Read 4 tweets

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