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Obama agenda: The reshuffle

“Obama has been mulling for months the possibility of naming former commerce secretary William Daley to be his chief of staff, meeting with him at least once in person, two Democrats said,” the Washington Post front-pages. “Although familiar with the Daley family - William is the brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley -- Obama did not have a personal relationship with William Daley and wanted to get to know him better. The secret has been tightly held, without as much as a mention in senior staff meetings, an administration official said."

“But it is only part of a potentially much larger reorganization that encompasses almost the entire West Wing hierarchy, including those who have had the most influence over the administration's direction in its first two years. Among the biggest changes could be the departure of press secretary Robert Gibbs , who is said to be exploring the possibility of leaving the White House altogether, perhaps to set up his own consulting shop and play a leading role in the 2012 campaign, two Democrats said. That move could happen in the coming weeks.”

The New York Times: "With Mr. Obama back at the White House on Tuesday after a holiday vacation in Hawaii, White House aides said some personnel decisions could be announced perhaps this week. Among the announcements expected soon is a successor to Lawrence H. Summers, who has returned to teach at Harvard, as the chief White House economic adviser. The leading candidate is believed to be Gene Sperling, who held the job under President Bill Clinton and is currently a counselor to the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner."

“President Obama’s strategy for dealing with the new Republican majority in the House is to stay above the fray and look presidential for the 2012 race,” The Hill’s Youngman writes. “The president gave a preview of that strategy during his trip home from his Christmas vacation in Hawaii, when he ventured back to Air Force One’s press cabin and suggested he would essentially take a spectator’s role while House Republicans beat their chests and howl.”

On the other hand, the New York Daily News notes, “President Obama will use his bully pulpit to launch a populist pushback against Republicans, who take control of the House on Wednesday. En route to Washington on Tuesday from a Hawaii vacation, Obama signaled his emerging to paint the GOP as more interested in scoring points than helping ordinary people.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius has an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, defending the health-care law. She writes, “Repeal would slam the brakes on this progress, taking control away from families and their doctors and putting it back in the hands of insurance companies. Before any member of Congress considers taking such a reckless step backward, he or she should think through exactly what repeal would mean.”

French President Sarkozy will be at the White House Monday.