“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Mr. Biden said.- Advertisement – WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. named Ron Klain, a veteran Democratic operative and a decades-long confidant, to be his White House chief of staff on Wednesday, the first step toward putting in place his administration’s senior leadership.Mr. Klain, a lawyer with deep experience on Capitol Hill, advising President Barack Obama and in corporate board rooms, served as Mr. Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president and has been seen for months as the most likely choice to manage his team in the White House. Known for steady nerves, he also has a fierce wit, which he has frequently unleashed on President Trump on Twitter.- Advertisement – Advisers have said that Mr. Biden will announce other top White House staff members in the coming days, even as Mr. Trump refuses to accept the results of the election, tweeting “WE WILL WIN!” on Wednesday evening. – Advertisement – He was particularly critical of Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, having served as the “Ebola czar” under Mr. Obama during an outbreak of the deadly disease in 2014. A video of Mr. Klain lecturing Mr. Trump about the pandemic was widely viewed during the campaign.In a statement, Mr. Biden called Mr. Klain an “invaluable” adviser, noting in particular the work they did together during the economic crisis in 2009 and the Ebola outbreak. Mr. Klain has gone in and out of government over the past several decades, at times practicing as a lawyer and later working with Steve Case, the founder of AOL, in a venture capital investment firm called Revolution.Mr. Klain thanked his well-wishers in a tweet on Wednesday night, saying that he was “honored by the President-elect’s confidence” and that he would “give my all to lead a talented and diverse team in a Biden-Harris” White House.The choice of Mr. Klain, 59, who first went to work for Mr. Biden in the late 1980s when Mr. Biden was a senator from Delaware and Mr. Klain was a recent graduate of Harvard Law School, signals that the president-elect intends to rely on a tight circle of Washington insiders who have been by his side for years.- Advertisement – Mr. Biden is not likely to reveal his cabinet picks until around Thanksgiving, several people close to the transition said.
The University of Wisconsin softball team (27-21, 9-9 Big Ten) will complete its home schedule Wednesday against University of Illinois-Chicago (35-23, 11-4 Horizon) at 5 p.m. at Goodman Diamond in what will be the last home game for six UW seniors — Boo Gillette, Katie Layne, Kris Zacher, Natalie Phillips, Meghann Reiss and Anastasia Miller. The Badgers will attempt to avenge their 5-4 loss to the Flames earlier this season (April 6 in Chicago).“I felt like we had the game in hand and then … kinda let the game slip away,” UW head coach Karen Gallagher said of the first matchup.In one of the more frustrating games of the season, Wisconsin saw its 4-2 lead evaporate despite posting a then-season-high 12 hits. However, the Badgers stranded 11 base runners over the course of the game. The loss came amid Wisconsin’s midseason funk, where it had lost eight of nine games. Wisconsin has since rebounded and is currently on a tear, having claimed victory in 14 of its last 16 contests.The Flames are currently on top of the standings in the Horizon League, one game above Wisconsin-Green Bay, and look poised to make a run for a seventh conference title this season, after winning six of the past seven. Despite hailing from a smaller conference, the Flames have been more than competitive with Wisconsin, currently leading the all-time series 4-2 over UW.If Wisconsin is going to have any more success against UIC this time around, it will have to keep the Flames in the ballpark, as they hit three homeruns against the Badgers in the previous matchup.Illinois-Chicago is a very dangerous offensive team, with seven players posting 20-plus RBI and the top five batters all hitting above .300. The ringleader of the Flames’ offense is Cameron Astiazaran, a senior outfielder who has had a season to remember so far. Her .483 batting average is fourth best in the nation, while she is the NCAA doubles leader with 24. Astiazaran is also the team leader in every offensive category, leading the Flames with 14 homeruns and 46 RBI.Illinois-Chicago’s pitching has not been nearly as successful, however, as the Flames have a team ERA of 3.58, compared to Wisconsin’s 2.72 team ERA.Wisconsin will likely see either junior Brittany McIntyre or freshman Mercedes Lovato start. McIntyre is 17-12 with a 3.35 ERA, while Lovato has a record of 16-9 and an ERA of 3.69. Both pitched in the earlier meeting between the two teams, with Lovato getting the starting nod and receiving a shelling from Wisconsin. Lovato gave up four runs on nine hits in four innings pitched before giving way to McIntyre, who only allowed three hits and no runs in her three innings of work, earning the win. Both pitchers have been susceptible to giving up the long ball this season, as the Flames have allowed opponents to hit 39 homeruns this season, a good omen for Wisconsin, who set a school record with five homeruns in Tuesday’s second win over Valparaiso.For the Badger seniors, the last home game of their careers will be reason enough to come out firing against Illinois-Chicago.“I don’t think anything can prepare you for that moment, your last home game of your senior year,” Phillips said. “It’s going to be emotional, and I’m sure it is going to be the same way with my five other fellow seniors. We’ll be playing for each other. We always do, but it will be that euphoric feeling with it. These are our memories right here.”Gallagher, like her seniors, is looking toward Wednesday’s game with optimism and expects her team to play well, regardless of what sentimental significance the game might have.“We are just focused on getting done what we have to do on the field,” Gallagher said. “[Wednesday] should be a great day to play, and we look forward to ending out our home season with a win.”