WASHINGTON -- Bruce Reed, who has deep Idaho roots, was named Friday as Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff.
Reed was born in Boise and raised in Coeur d'Alene. His mother, Mary Lou Reed, is a former Democratic state senator. He's a graduate of Princeton University and a former Rhodes Scholar. His first job was in then-Sen. Al Gore's office. He went to work for then-Gov. Bill Clinton, helping to craft the 1992 platform that won Clinton the White House.
Reed worked for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, and most recently ran President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The recommendations were widely praised on both sides of the aisle -- although their finding didn't have quite enough votes to be sent to Congress to consider. The ideas are still expected to be at the center of the work done to cut spending and rein in the deficit.
Reed said in an interview with the Statesman in November that he and his wife, Bonnie LePard, never thought they'd stay in Washington — his wife took the Colorado bar exam and they envisioned a life out West, Reed said. But with two children, now teenagers, they ended up staying. He and LePard were high school sweethearts in Coeur d'Alene, and they return to Idaho twice a year to see their family. They live in Washington, D.C.'s, Cleveland Park neighborhood, near the National Zoo.
Reed for the past decade has been the CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council, the party's centrist think tank. "I was lucky — my first two bosses ended up as president and vice president of the United States," Reed said in the interview.
Reed didn't talk about Biden in the interview, which focused on his work on the deficit panel, but he had this to say about Obama: The president "takes the long view, which is critical on an issue like this. Like most Americans he shares the frustration that Republicans and Democrats can work together everywhere else but here in Washington. We hope that our commission can be one small step forward for cooperation and common sense in this town."
Biden issued this statement: "I've known and admired Bruce for over 20 years. 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."