White House Chief of Staff Indian-born Ron Klain speaks to FOX59

He has one of the busiest jobs in Washington, and for White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, it all started right here in Indianapolis.

“Growing up here in Indiana taught me the value of hard work and humility,” Klain said in an exclusive one-on-one interview with FOX59 about his role in the nation’s capital, known for its often grueling schedule and harsh criticism.

“The working hours are long and the pressure is high,” said Klain, whose love of politics was awakened at an early age.

The 1979 North Central High School graduate says seeing the late Robert F. Kennedy come to Indianapolis to campaign in 1968 sparked a lifelong passion for politics.

“I was six years old,” Klain said. “Kennedy’s campaign was looking for a location to shoot a commercial and they chose my dad’s store rather randomly… I had the opportunity to meet (him) that day and I was just so impressed and inspired. ”

He then served with two vice presidents and led the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola virus.

Now he is at President Biden’s side as the country emerges from the global pandemic – and grapples with the impact of rising inflation.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, we’re all Americans, and we need a better economy,” Klain said. “The president is working to bring down the price of gas … we’ve also been working to bring down food and grocery prices.”

Though the midterm elections produced mixed results for the White House, the country’s economic woes certainly posed a challenge for the Biden administration and impacted the president’s approval ratings for the first two years.

Still, Klain says he believes President Biden will indeed run for re-election in 2024, though he’s not exactly sure how long he’ll serve as chief of staff.

At almost two years old, he has served longer than many before.

Meanwhile, this bank holiday weekend, he says, it’s nice to be home, if only for a little while.

“It’s always great to be home. I’ve only been here a few times in the last two years, but it’s always great to call Indiana home,” Klain said. “I think Hoosiers are raised to work hard…I try to bring that into my White House job.”

You can see more of our interview with Klain on Sunday morning at 9:30am in this week’s IN Focus.