A number of key aides are expected to leave the White House in the coming months as President Obama tries to build momentum after a tumultuous 2013 that left him with few significant achievements. Departures of longtime and trusted West Wing aides will force Obama to go outside his comfort zone in seeking advisers.
Strategists say that could be a struggle for the president, who they say has not done well in reaching outside his bubble for help and advice.
The biggest boldface name expected to leave Obama is deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, a key adviser on nearly every major negotiation the White House has had with Congress.
Followed by Deputy chief of staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, “And Alyssa really knows what makes the president tick,” the official said. “More than any two people, both Alyssa and Rob demonstrate Obama’s loyalty to his personal relationships.”
There are other departures, too, particularly in the Legislative Affairs Office, which recently lost its director, Miguel Rodriguez. Sources say officials Ed Pagano and Jonathan Samuels, who head up the House and Senate teams. Beirne Fallon’s old role hasn’t yet been filled. Last month, the White House announced that John Podesta, who served as chief of staff to former President Clinton, will advise Obama. The White House also brought back Phil Schiliro, who served in several key roles during Obama’s first term, to help iron out the glitches of the disastrous healthcare law rollout.
“Schiliro is truly loyal to the cause and he’s not going to leave until healthcare is in a much better place than how he found it,” Obama will also have to deal with the loss of Gene Sperling, the director of the National Economic Council and the assistant to the president for economic policy.
Senior adviser David Simas, who didn’t work on Obama’s first campaign but is very close with former senior adviser David Axelrod, earned a place in Obama’s sacred inner circle.
Simas, who has been at the helm of healthcare, will continue to help out on strategy and communications.
Sources—amie parnes, the hill