POLITICO’s Carol Lee and Glenn Thrush have a good piece up this morning on who’s in the running for various positions in the West Wing.
This amounts to the most sweeping turnover in a West Wing that I’ve ever seen. Almost everyone is changing jobs or leaving, except the president. It looks like Valerie Jarrett stays as a top adviser. Everyone assumes Pete Rouse moves from acting to permanent chief of staff.
Big question mark on the press secretary post. Gibbs is leaving the post, and seems likely to assume a senior White House role, though it’s still uncertain he’ll stay. Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton wants the job bad, and he’s shown he can handle the briefings. But whether President Obama will put the public face of his presidency in the hands of a relatively inexperienced 33 year old is unclear.
The Obama White House takes a lot of cues from the last two-term Democratic president. At about this point in his presidency, in 1995, Bill Clinton brought in Mike McCurry, a veteran hand who turned out to be one of the most effective press secretaries ever and who helped save Clinton twice – from defeat in the 1996 campaign and from the jaws of the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
I love writing “sex scandal.”
David Plouffe, the man most responsible for bringing you President Obama, ends his outside role and enters the White House in January, possibly the first week of the month. He’s a detail guy who might make the place a more professional type outfit than it’s been so far. His role seems to correlate to that of David Gergen, whom Clinton brought into the White House during his first time to provide some badly needed adult supervision.
With Plouffe and Rouse running the show, possbily along with Gibbs and Jarrett, the adults will be in charge. And Republicans need not get overconfident.