Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama's Senior Advisors

Senior Advisors
Name: David Axelrod
Hometown: Manhattan
Current City: Chicago
Job at time of Appointment: Chief strategist for 2008 Obama campaign, AXP&D consultant
Age: 52

Hailed as the mastermind of the extremely successful Obama campaign, David Axelrod is graduating from his post as chief strategist for the campaign and moving on to become one of the new president's senior advisors.

Credited for some of the Obama campaign trademarks, such as "hope" and "change," Axelrod has also served on campaigns for Sens. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Chris Dodd.

A consultant for AXP&D Message and Media, Axelrod was a top political reporter before leaving the Chicago Tribune in 1984. As a consultant, he is known for being an "advertising guy" and a "postideological approach."

Photo from USA Today

Name: Valerie Jarrett
Hometown: Shiraz, Iran
Current City: Chicago
Job at time of appointment: Strategist for the 2008 Obama Campaign, President and CEO of The Habitat Co.
Age: 52

A longtime mentor for both Barack and Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett was the chief of staff for former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley when she hired Michelle for a job in his office.

Prior to becoming the chief of staff for the mayor's office and then the city-planning commissioner, Jarrett was a corporate lawyer in a large Chicago firm. In 1995, she left city government to work for The Habitat Co., a for-profit-real-estate firm, rising to become President and CEO. The firm has been accused of mismanagement of some of its properties, which include range from public housing to luxury condos, according to the Boston Globe.

Her longstanding relationship with the Obamas has led to a strew of nicknames, including "First Friend," "big sister" and "the other half of Obama's brain." Jarrett has been co-chair of the Obama transition team and will be become a top White House advisor, taking her name out of contention as a Senate replacement for the president-elect.

Photo from The University of Chicago Chronicle

Name: Pete Rouse
Hometown: New Haven
Current City: Washington, D.C. and Chicago
Job at time of appointment: Barack Obama's chief of staff in the Senate
Age: 62

Having spent three decades on Capitol Hill, Peter Rouse's job as Barack Obama's Senate office chief of staff was to introduce Obama to the workings of Washington, being, as The Washington Post called him, "The Outsider's Insider."

Prior to becoming Obama's chief of staff, co-chairman of the transition team and future senior advisor, Rouse served as the chief of staff to former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D - SD) for 19 years, holding the same position for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) when he was in the House and for former Lt. Gov. Terry Miller of Alaska.

Known as "The 101st Senator" during his long tenure with Daschle, Obama picked up Rouse as his chief of staff following Daschle's loss in 2004. Since then, Rouse has strategically steered Obama in the right political direction to become president, and is expected to continue to use his insider knowledge of Washington to aide the new president-elect.

Photo from The Washington Post