Obama's White House is Taking Shape


We may not learn about Obama's cabinet choices until after Thanksgiving, but in the interim, the White House staff is clearly taking shape.

Up until a few days ago, the list was fairly brief: Rahm Emanuel will be chief of staff, Robert Gibbs will be press secretary, and David Axelrod will be a senior advisor to the president. Yesterday, the Obama/Biden team formally added two more members: Ron Klain will become Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff, while Valerie Jarrett will serve as Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison. (As Karen Tumulty noted, Jarrett's title suggests a "very broad troubleshooting portfolio.")

We've since learned of a few other officials in key White House posts. Phil Schiliro, a long-time aide to Henry Waxman and Tom Daschle, will be Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. Peter Rouse, a long-time aide to Daschle and Dick Durbin, will be a senior advisor to the President. Mona Sutphen, a U.S. foreign service officer and member of Bill Clinton's National Security Council, will be a deputy chief of staff. And Jim Messina, a former aide to Sens. Max Baucus and Byron Dorgan, will also be a deputy chief of staff.

Ezra made an important point about what most of these people have in common:

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