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White House shuffle hands Obama aide more duties

The White House in Washington November 6, 2011.


U.S. President Barack Obama's chief of staff Bill Daley has asked a senior aide to take on greater operational oversight of staff at the White House, a senior administration official said on Monday.

Mr. Daley, who became Mr. Obama's top White House adviser earlier this year, would still retain his day-to-day management role.

Pete Rouse, a long-time aide to Mr. Obama who ran the White House in an interim capacity after the president's first chief of staff Rahm Emanuel stepped down last year, will take on new coordinating responsibilities.

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Mr. Emanuel is now mayor of Chicago.

"Bill Daley, the chief of staff, has asked Pete Rouse to take on an expanded operational and coordinational role with the White House staff," said the administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Rouse will retain his title of counselor to the president. Mr. Daley remains chief of staff. The changes were seen as part of an effort to improve efficiency at the White House.

They come as Mr. Daley faces criticism for having cool relations with some leaders in Congress and as the 2012 presidential campaign heats up.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the shift, said Mr. Daley's own new role had not yet been clearly defined. The administration official said, contrary to the newspaper's report, that Mr. Daley was not ceding day-to-day management of the White House to Rouse.

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