Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Ex-Clinton Aide Expected to Join Obama
Ex-Clinton Aide Expected to Join Obama
By JACKIE CALMES
Published: December 9, 2013
WASHINGTON — President Obama, after a rocky year that leaves him at the lowest ebb of his presidency, is bringing into his White House circle the longtime Democratic strategist John D. Podesta, a former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton.
idential transition in 2008 and has been an outside adviser since then. He also has occasionally criticized the administration, if gently, from his perch as the founder and former president of the Center for American Progress, a center-left public policy research group that has provided personnel and policy ideas to the administration.
Word that Mr. Podesta would for the first time join Mr. Obama’s official staff, from people familiar with the discussions, comes as the president is seeking to recover public support and credibility after the flawed introduction in October of the insurance marketplaces that are a key part of his signature Affordable Care Act. This week he brought back his former chief congressional lobbyist, Phil Schiliro, who had moved to New Mexico, to help on the health care issues.
Mr. Podesta’s recruitment, by Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, also comes as Mr. Obama faces a number of departures by close advisers in the coming months.
Among those exiting is his longtime confidant and troubleshooter Pete Rouse, who has been with Mr. Obama since the future president was elected a senator in 2004. For a few months in late 2010, Mr. Rouse was Mr. Obama’s acting chief of staff.
Mr. Podesta will help Mr. McDonough on matters related to the health care law, administration organization and executive actions, said a person familiar with the plans, and will focus in particular on climate change issues, a personal priority of Mr. Podesta’s.
The White House refused to confirm the recruitment of Mr. Podesta. The person familiar with the matter said Mr. Podesta would not be replacing Mr. Rouse, who is said to have a unique relationship with the president after their years together in the Senate, two presidential campaigns and the White House.
Even so, Mr. Podesta and Mr. Rouse share some similarities. Both are older than the 52-year-old president — Mr. Rouse is 67, Mr. Podesta nearly 65 — and are said to be able to speak candidly to him, much like party elders.
Both also have far more Washington experience than Mr. Obama. Each has spent many years as a senior Senate aide, including postings with Tom Daschle of South Dakota when he was the Senate Democratic leader. Both Mr. Rouse and Mr. Podesta have close relationships with senators, valuable experience going into a midterm election year when the Democrats’ majority in the Senate is threatened.
Mr. Podesta did not respond to requests for comment. It appeared the White House had reached out to him recently.
In mid-November, Mr. Podesta announced that he was establishing the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a nonpartisan organization within the Center for American Progress, and that he would be its chairman.
The new group will study the growing inequality in incomes and economic opportunity, and promote policies to close a gap that has worsened to levels last seen in the 1920s. Inequality has long been a focus of Mr. Obama’s and has figured prominently in his speeches since he was a state senator in Illinois. Last week, he spoke at a community complex in a struggling Washington neighborhood, where he called inequality and declining upward mobility “the defining issue of our time.”
His host for the event was the Center for American Progress, and Mr. Podesta attended.
Mr. Podesta, who was Mr. Clinton’s chief of staff during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment of Mr. Clinton, also has been at the center of foreign policy and national security debates. In 2009, he accompanied Mr. Clinton to North Korea for negotiations that won the release of two American journalists who had been jailed on spy charges.
John D. Podesta
John D. Podesta was the chief of staff for William J. Clinton, a counselor for Tom Daschle, a team member for the 2009 humanitarian mission to North Korea, is the chairman for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and the chair & counselor for the Center for American Progress.
Note: Center for American Progress Action Fund is a fund, affiliated advocacy group for the Center for American Progress.
Tom Perriello is the president & CEO for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and was a member of the Scroll and Key.
Scroll and Key is a secret society at Yale University.
Denis McDonough was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Tom Daschle’s foreign policy adviser, and is the chief of staff; former deputy national security adviser for the Barack Obama administration.
Tom Daschle is a director at the Center for American Progress, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), a senior policy adviser for DLA Piper, was a nominee for health and human services secretary for the Barack Obama administration, and a 2008 Bilderberg conference participant (think tank).
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the Center for American Progress, and the Climate Reality Project.
George Soros is the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and the founder & chairman for the Open Society Foundations.
Open Society Foundations was a funder for the Center for American Progress, the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
William J. Clinton is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), the founding chairman for the Clinton Global Initiative, the founder of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, John D. Podesta was his chief of staff, and led the team in the 2009 humanitarian mission to North Korea.
James L. Jones Jr. was the Obama administration liaison for the 2009 humanitarian mission to North Korea, the national security adviser for the Barack Obama administration, and is a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
Euna Lee was freed as result of the 2009 humanitarian mission to North Korea, William J. Clinton negotiated her release from North Korea, and a journalist for Current TV.
Laura Ling was freed as result of the 2009 humanitarian mission to North Korea, William J. Clinton negotiated her release from North Korea, and is a journalist for Current TV.
Al Jazeera acquired Current TV.
DLA Piper is the lobby firm for Al Jazeera.
Current TV is a division of Current Media, LLC.
Albert A. Gore Jr. is a co-founder & chairman for the Current Media, LLC, and the chairman for the Climate Reality Project.
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