comings and goings

Three Vaguely Interesting Things About Obama’s New Chief of Staff

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Please note: a classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
That’s him. Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

President Obama will announce a second-term reshuffling at the White House today, most notably naming deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough his new chief of staff. McDonough will replace Jack Lew, whom Obama nominated as Treasury Secretary. While most Americans couldn’t pick any of these people out on the street, they are the ones who make the executive branch of our government run. The Atlantic has a nice primer on McDonough filled with the expected stuff (great guy, very hardworking), but a few things in particular stuck out.

1. That’s him up there, next to Hillary Clinton, during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Only very important people got a seat at the table.

2. He’s a “devout” Catholic and Midwesterner, having attended Saint John’s University in Minnesota, where he played on the football team. 

3. His name is spelled with just one n, like the saint and martyr.

That’s about it.

Obama Names Denis McDonough Chief of Staff