Meet Denis McDonough, The Bare-Knuckle Staffer Who Is Set To Become Obama's New Chief Of Staff

denis mcdonough

Photo: AP

President Barack Obama is expected to tap top national security deputy Denis McDonough as his new chief of staff, according to multiple news reports this week. McDonough, one of the President’s, closest foreign policy aides, would replace current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew who Obama has nominated to head the Treasury Department. 

The Washington Post’s David Nakamura has a great profile of McDonough today, detailing the crucial role he has played in some of the major crises of Obama’s first term.

According to Nakamura, McDonough is regarded as a high intensity worker who is on the job around the clock:

McDonough, described as among the hardest-working and most demanding of Obama’s top aides, also can come across as sharp-tongued and dismissive. He is known to carry White House note cards in his pockets, whipping them out to scribble messages during meetings, which he passes around the room. Most of the notes are questions about policy but some can be mocking insults, said one official who has attended the meetings. He also is not adverse to cursing those who have frustrated or angered him, associates said.

McDonough would be President Obama’s fourth chief of staff, following Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley and Jacob Lew. 

Here he is to the President’s left when he and his national security team watched the killing of Osama bin Laden.

situation room

Photo: Photographer: Pete Souza (via Twitter/Obama)

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