Obama taps budget aide to replace Podesta

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Brian Deese to succeed John Podesta.

President Obama on Wednesday tapped Brian Deese, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, to take over the White House’s energy and environment portfolio.WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has chosen a veteran White House aide and deputy director in his budget office, Brian Deese, to replace John Podesta as a senior adviser and presidential whisperer. Deese, a well-respected fiscal expert who has worked as one of Obama’s policy advisers since the 2008 campaign, has played a key role in economic policy initiatives ranging from the auto bailout and the annual budget to financial reform and energy and tax policy. Podesta will leave in February, shortly after returning from a trip to India with the president — a trip Deese will also make as part of the transition.

He also was a key figure behind Obama’s executive actions last year that ranged from modest steps on education to broad initiatives on immigration and climate change. The choice marks the move from a seasoned and well-known outsider to a little-known and much younger insider, with 30 years difference between them in age. But it also marks the ascendancy of a person who’s become one of the breakout stars within the West Wing, fresh off a State of the Union address for which Deese oversaw much of the policy development. “Brian is kind of the whole package — policy, strategy, insight to legislative and public affairs matters — and that’s what the president was looking for,” Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, said in a statement. “Brian’s experience makes him a particularly good choice to give advice to Denis and the president about how to roll forward and add to the momentum that we began during my tenure here,”?

Podesta, a Democratic uber-strategist, is leaving the White House in February after a roughly year-long push to implement and bolster Obama’s second-term climate change and energy plans. That includes coordinating the administration’s work to reach an international climate accord in Paris later this year, as well as work on conversation and land management.

While Deese, who will have the title of senior adviser, will be hard-pressed to match Podesta’s internal sway, environmentalists and progressive advocates cheered his appointment. “Brian Deese is smart, creative, and close to the president, and he gets things done,” said former White House climate czar Carol Browner, who is now with the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank and advocacy group that Podesta founded in 2003. He’ll be “part of the core White House strategic team, focusing specifically on bridging the intersection of policy, politics and legislative strategy going forward,” the official said. ?

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