By Associated Press
2013-01-26 02:04 AM
McDonough would replace outgoing chief of staff Jack Lew, who has been nominated as Treasury Secretary.
McDonough's place in Obama's inner circle was illustrated during the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011. He is among those whose images are captured in a well-known White House photograph seated in the situation room with Obama and other senior officials watching the raid unfold.
McDonough, 43, becomes the latest link in a chain of staffers elevated to key roles in the Obama White House following years of service within the president's closely guarded inner circle.
"The president trusts him _ perhaps more than anyone else in the White House. And I think he knows the president's mind perhaps better than anyone else in the White House," said John Podesta, who served as President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and co-chaired Obama's transition team.
Earlier, McDonough worked as a foreign policy specialist in Congress. Like so many of the president's senior aides, his work for Obama started during the 2008 presidential campaign, where he served as a foreign policy aide and was a senior adviser on the transition team. In 2009, he became the chief of staff for Obama's national security staff.
His new role was previously filled by Rahm Emanuel, William Daly and Pete Rouse, as interim chief of staff, before Lew.
Obama's first chief of staff, Emanuel, was known for volatility. And some administration officials still bristle at the president's attempt to bring in an outsider for the chief of staff job _ Bill Daly, who replaced Emanuel but only lasted about a year before leaving Washington.
McDonough is expected to be more in the mold of Lew, the even-keeled budget guru who, like McDonough, had already amassed a lengthy Washington resume before becoming Obama's chief of staff.
But what McDonough boasts in foreign policy expertise he lacks when it comes to domestic policy, which encompasses the bulk of the major issues the president will confront as his second term gets under way. Looming over the start of McDonough's term as chief of staff are a set of fiscal showdowns over debt and government spending, a heated campaign for gun control legislation and a major push for comprehensive immigration reform.
Other senior personnel shifts were made Friday. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco, head of the Justice Department's National Security Division, was selected to take over for John Brennan as advisor for homeland security and counterterrorism once his nomination as head of the Central Intelligence Agency is confirmed.
Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler and AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace contributed.