President Obama will tomorrow name White House senior adviser Pete Rouse as the new Chief of Staff, serving for now on an interim basis.
What does that mean?
It means Rouse will be the chief of staff and he may be replaced.
Or, if it’s working out for everyone, he might not.
It’s still possible that another will end up serving in that role, such as Ron Klain, Vice President Biden’s chief of staff.
President Obama spoke with another possible Emanuel replacement, deputy national security adviser Tom Donilon, a White House source said, and the result of the conversation was that Donilon will be staying at the National Security Staff.
At which point it becomes relevant for me to note that the National Security Adviser, Gen. James Jones (ret.) will be leaving the administration – as we’ve reported before – and that announcement is expected before the midterm elections. Donilon is on the list of possible replacements.
What should we know about Rouse?
“Pete has been with Senator-elect, Senator, President-elect, and now President Obama,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today. “There is a complete loyalty and trust with somebody like Pete. Pete's strategic sense has played a big part in the direction of virtually every big decision that's made inside of this White House. So I think the type of trust that the president and others throughout this administration have in Pete is enormous.”
Rouse served as longtime chief of staff for Sen. Tom Daschle, D-SD, when Daschle served as Senate Minority Leader and Majority Leader. (Rouse during that time was often called “the 101st senator.”)
As Sen. Obama’s chief of staff he came up with the strategic plan that led to Obama forming a presidential exploratory commission, and also led the presidential transition before handing it over to John Podesta.
He and Emanuel could not be more different in style and temperament. Rouse is laconic and works matters behind the scenes, he’s single and a fan of Maine coon cats.