As many as eight senior staff positions could open up within the next few weeks, as the Washington Post noted today, leaving President Obama with a different -- but strangely familiar -- cast of advisers, some playing new roles.
And Team Obama generally plays well together, but anticipated friction that could develop between certain personalities is causing several top aides to spill the beans to reporters in an effort to influence the outcome of the president's staff and structure review.
That's one reason why Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle are now being mentioned alongside former Commerce Secretary William Daley as potential chiefs of staff -- months after their names were first circulated. (Daschle has a ton of former staff members in key White House positions, and Vilsack has won the respect of many for his stewardship of several less-noticed domestic initiatives.) Daley, however, is still the leading candidate if current chief of staff Pete Rouse does not retain the job.
Cantor: Defense Cuts on the Table
New Congress, Familiar Fights
Obama and the Seven Dwarfs
To briefly sum up the state of play: For chief of staff, Rouse and Daley remain the front-runners; replacing deputy chief of staff Jim Messina (who will manage the reelection campaign), Alyssa Mastromonaco (as we first reported in December) and someone else to handle a newly created policy-politics role; deputy press secretary Bill Burton or vice presidential communications chief Jay Carney replacing Robert Gibbs, who will either (a) take a senior campaign role, (b) become a senior adviser in the White House, or (c) run the left's major independent expenditure effort for 2012. Mona Sutphen, another deputy chief of staff, is departing; her replacement is unclear because the nature of the job might change.