White House officials say the president has made no final decision, but sources say they expect McDonough will be chosen. The other candidate under consideration has been Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice President Biden, as ABC News reported last week.
McDonough has been a top Obama foreign policy adviser since the early days of his 2008 presidential campaign. He is one of those seen in the White House photo watching the Osama bin Laden raid unfold from the situation room with the president and his senior national security advisers.
For those counting, McDonough would be the Obama’s fifth chief of staff, or an assistant to the president. The others: Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daly, Pete Rouse (interim) and Jack Lew.