President Obama will make significant changes to the seating arrangements on the ship of state, appointing Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough to be White House Chief of staff and tapping Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer to serve as “senior adviser.”
McDonough has little experience running anything, having served as a veteran Capitol Hill and Washington staffer and insider, but he is deeply trusted by the president. Pfeiffer, whose influence has already been thought to exceed the communications portfolio, will now officially serve as a kind of consigliere to the president, replacing the departing David Plouffe.
Pfeiffer recently suggested that Republicans and the U.S. system of government were not worthy of Obama’s agenda.
Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, a veteran Democratic operative who served under Bill Clinton, will become the new communications chief, helping Obama rebut some of the murmuring that he has failed to put women in senior-level positions.
Since these are White House appointments, they do not require Congressional approval. Obama will announce the staff changes during an East Room event at 12:10 pm ET, which I will live stream for you.