THREESCORE worth of President Joe Biden prospects and staffers are alumni to a progressive Washington D.C. powerhouse think tank that doubles as a White House finishing school.
The Center for American Progress or CAP, which clings to a credo aiming “not just to change the conversation, but to change the country,” has become a go-to talent incubator for the Biden administration to fill key roles such as the secretary of Veterans Affairs, economic policy advisor and Pentagon’s chief of staff among others, according to an Insider report.
Chief of Staff Ron Klain, who serves President Biden and was once known as the Ebola czar, was a former board member at the Center for American Progress think tankCredit: Reuters
The publication discovered that Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, who was Obama’s former Ebola czar – was a CAP board member.
The D.C. fixture’s President and CEO, Neera Tanden was touted to become Biden’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget and came close to notching the role of White House budget director until she bowed out after past unfiltered tweets came to light criticizing Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
Both Kelly Magsamen, chief of staff to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Carmel Martin, who served as deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council for economic mobility – had ties to CAP, according to Insider.
It wasn’t until this year that 21 of the 60 White House hires counted in the publication’s analysis maintained affiliations to CAP.
The Center for American Progress (CAP) aims “not just to change the conversation, but to change the country”Credit: Center for American Progress
Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain is reportedly one of 60 alumni of the progressive D.C. think tankCredit: Reuters
CAP President and CEO, Neera Tanden was selected to become Biden’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget later considered for the role of White House budget director until she bowed outCredit: AP
Many of CAP talent pool serving the policy institute did so as senior fellows, policy analysts or even lowly interns before getting called up the big leagues at 1600 Pennsylvania to serve at the pleasure of President Biden.
“It’s a win-win for us,” Mara Rudman, CAP’s executive vice president for policy, told Insider.
“It’s no surprise to many of us that we have a lot of talented people that we feel very fortunate to draw in and would expect or hope that the skills and abilities of those people are embraced by a progressive administration,” she said.
The White House refused to answer Insider’s questions.
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, who was the vice presidential candidate on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Democratic ticket, praised the reliable revolving door of talents that come through CAP.
“It’s been very important for us to have an intellectual gathering place off the Hill that we know is continuously trying to be creative about policy,” he told Insider in March.
Kaine suggested when Democrats lost the presidential race in 2016, CAP became a first resort to retool.
He called it “a great place to go to keep hope alive,” in the Insider interview.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who sits atop the Senate Appropriations Committee is concerned the Biden presidency is being farmed out to the agendas of liberal-leaning CAP and other think tanks like them.
“It reinforces that we’ve got probably the most liberal regime in the White House that we’ve had in a long time, if ever,” he said.
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