Tags: Barack Obama | Obama | staff | lame duck | advisers | departure

Report: 3 Key Obama Advisers Eyeing the Exits

By    |   Thursday, 23 October 2014 11:19 AM

With Republicans on track to take over the Senate and two years of a lame duck presidency to look forward to, key White House staffers are lining up at the exits.

Attorney General Eric Holder beat the pack by announcing his departure late last month, but Washington insiders say several other important aides to President Barack Obama are intent on leaving some empty desks at the White House as soon as possible.

Politico reports that President Obama's senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes and communications director Jennifer Palmieri are among those who plan to leave Obama in the lurch for the last two years of his eight-year presidency.

Given that Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has been asking senior aides if they plan to stick around, chances are that more than those three may follow suit after the midterm elections.

"Spending, in some cases, six years working in the White House can be grueling, but losing these folks would be a big blow," a Democrat close to the White House told the Washington Examiner.

Holder, the first to jump ship, may not be replaced until after the midterms and, if Republicans take the Senate, likely not before new senators take their seats and present Obama with a tough confirmation challenge, although there is no word yet on who his replacement might be.

If Pfeiffer, Rhodes and Palmieri opt to depart, they will leave Obama without three of his closest and most valued advisers.

Pfeiffer, 38, has been Obama's right-hand man in communications since joining the White House staff in 2009, first as deputy communications director and then as communications director, and senior adviser for strategy and communications.

Palmieri, a Clinton White House veteran, replaced Pfeiffer as communications director in 2013 and, Politico notes, became a key member of the administration because of her work during the troubled launch of the Obamacare website.

Rhodes, 35, has served the longest with Obama, coming on board as a speechwriter in 2008 and working his way up to the titles of assistant to the president and deputy National Security adviser for strategic communications and speechwriting.

He enjoys a close relationship with Obama and, "He will be hard to replace," an official told Politico.

Politico even speculates that McDonough himself may be headed for the exit, especially if Democrats lose the Senate and "demand a major shakeup."

Politico added, "He's close to Obama, almost too close, his critics say, because they often make decisions in isolation."

None of those named by Politico as possibly leaving commented for the article.

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With Republicans on track to take over the Senate and two years of a lame duck presidency to look forward to, key White House staffers are lining up at the exits, Politico reports.
Obama, staff, lame duck, advisers, departure
Thursday, 23 October 2014 11:19 AM
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