Axelrod, Emanuel to Obama White House; Gibbs, Jarrett to Play Key Roles

By Jennifer Parker

Nov 6, 2008 1:16pm

Former Obama chief strategist David Axelrod has accepted the position of Senior Adviser in the White House, sources tell ABC News. Robert Gibbs is also likely to join Obama’s White House as Press Secretary, and Obama would like his confidante Valerie Jarrett to play a key role. The exact parameters have not been set. They will join Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill, who has accepted the position of Obama’s White House Chief of Staff. He brings a lot of strengths to the office.

He knows the White House. He served there for six-and-a-half years under President Clinton. He knows Congress. He’s been a member of Congress now for four terms and risen to the number four Democratic leadership position on Capitol Hill. He knows policy and he knows how to drive policies through the bureaucracy. He’s also loyal. Obama has told associates he believes he’s "got his back." He’ll be a strong presence in the White House. Emanuel has centrist instincts and understands the dangers of moving too far in one direction in part from the Clinton experience. There’s been commentary from some Republicans arguing Emanuel is too partisan. But he’s also made a point of reaching out in the House to Republicans and building bridges. He’s had a series of bipartisan dinners over the last several years to build bridges with Democrats and Republicans. He likely understands that successful presidencies build those centrist coalitions. –George Stephanopoulos

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