In the midst of an ongoing campaign by President Donald Trump to declare that the recent American election was rigged against him, he appears to have found an unusual ally: Joe Biden’s nominee for Chief of Staff.
Ronald Klain, who has been a longtime aide of Biden, is the first declared staffer appointed by the would-be Democrat presidential transition team. Klain had previously served as a senior advisor to Biden’s campaign, and also Biden’s chief of staff during the Obama administration. In other words, he is a veteran Democratic operative.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden appointed top Democratic official Ron Klain as his chief of staff.
Klain was in charge of the Obama administration's response to the Ebola health crisis in 2014. https://t.co/8x0VMx9wWV
— CBC News (@CBCNews) November 12, 2020
During Obama’s second term, the news outlet Vox posted an article citing a Rasmussen poll entitled “68% of Americans think elections are rigged.”
“That’s because they are”, Klain commented in response.
.@voxdotcom That's because they are.
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) July 15, 2014
Klain’s comments came at a time when he was serving as Chief of Staff to Biden, then Vice President, and in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 mid-term elections, which were a disaster for the Democrats – Republicans gained 9 seats in the US Senate and expanded control of the US House of Representatives – foreshadowing Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton two years later.
The article Klain was commenting on refers to gerrymandering and the high rates of re-election for incumbent candidates – not direct fraud per se. So it seems unlikely that Klain was openly referring to deliberate criminality and cheating in his Tweet.
However, it is notable that Trump is not the first or only alleged “bad loser” in American politics. Indeed, for all that Trump has not conceded yet, it’s worth remembering that in the weeks leading up to the election, Biden himself was repeatedly urged not to concede if the election was close – including by figures as senior as Hillary Clinton.
In August, Hillary said Biden should “not concede under any circumstances” and no one in the media batted an eye. I disagree with how Trump’s behaving, but they’re now claiming he’s a fascist for doing exactly what Hillary said Biden should do. https://t.co/qsdFUu2Rud
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) November 9, 2020
The double standard is notable in one respect thought – some twitter users juxtaposed Klain’s tweet with one of President Trump’s recent tweets claiming that the election was “rigged”, and showed how Twitter had flagged Trump’s tweet as “disputed” in their ongoing censorship campaign. Meanwhile, Klain’s tweet saw no such flagging or correction, despite claiming the exact same thing.
hello twitter i have a claim about election fraud that I want to dispute pic.twitter.com/rbcSuihcP2
— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) November 12, 2020
Only one side, it seems, pays a penalty for claiming that elections are rigged.