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Posted at 8:33 AM ET, 12/27/2010

Friday question answered

By Jennifer Rubin

Readers certainly came up with some creative responses to my question about who should be President Obama's next chief of staff. Mortisimus gets special recognition for coming up with Groucho Marx, whose love of the absurd and verbal whimsy would be much welcomed. But, alas, Groucho is no longer with us. DrBerkeley, however, offers what I think is the most constructive suggestion: "Judd Gregg, if he'd take it. Or Erskine Bowles, to show a commitment toward fiscal reorganization."

Judd Gregg already turned down a position, Commerce secretary, in the Obama administration, so he might not have the president's trust, a key factor for a successful chief of staff. But Erskine Bowles, I would suggest, is precisely what Obama needs. He, as DrBerkeley suggests, is obviously committed to fiscal discipline and has demonstrated his ability to work with Republicans while ignoring the left (exactly what Obama must do in the next two years). He actually has relevant experience, having served as President Bill Clinton's deputy chief of staff and then his chief of staff. Moreover, he's worked in the private sector, an anomaly in the Obama White House.

In sum, it's hard to think of a better choice than Bowles. And by selecting Bowles, Obama would signal recognition that his agenda and demeanor toward his opponents must change if he is to avoid becoming a one-term president. Of course, if Obama isn't really interested in stretching beyond his comfort zone, if he merely wants to posture rather than give up his liberal agenda and plans to continue his hyper-partisanship, he'll choose someone like Tom Daschle.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 27, 2010; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  Friday question  
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"Moreover, he's worked in the private sector, an anomaly in the Obama White House."

Why do you print blatant lies that are easily proven false?

Posted by: Amminadab | December 27, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

yeah. Erskine Bowles the investment banker - really relevant private sector experience - great way to have Bowles become the story.

My bet is Pete Rouse will stay on - once upon a time the chief of staff to Tom Daschle, and most likely the quiet architect of Obama's sudden pivot to working with the Senate.

Eat grits.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 27, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

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