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Who is Denis McDonough, the man likely to be Obama’s next chief of staff?


Current Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, 43, is poised to take over for Jack Lew as President Obama’s chief of staff as Lew appears set to take over the treasury secretary position.

The Washington Post notes that although the administration has not made a final decision on McDonough, an announcement could come this week, and the New York Times states this pick would “…continue the president’s practice of putting the people he trusts most in critical positions.”

But who is Denis McDonough and how will he compare to past chiefs of staff? Before him in the Obama administration came Rahm Emanuel (now Chicago mayor), William Daley, Pete Rouse and Lew.

“What this pick signals is that it’s going to be a more combative White House,” Politico’s Jim VandeHei told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Thursday. “[It’s going to be] an insular White House…another white guy who’s in a leadership role inside of the White House. It signals to me an approach where they’re ready for combat.”

The Washington Post also points to some of McDonough’s bona fides that would put him in good stead for the position:

“McDonough has carved out a reputation as a fiercely loyal and demanding aide who has played a key role in some of the administration’s highest profile decisions, including the U.S. military drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the response to the Japanese tsunami and the handling of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.”

VandeHei goes on to say McDonough is a guy who has “great contacts and great relationships internally in this White House.”

Perhaps the president will name McDonough before his inauguration this weekend.