WASHINGTON (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden's communications director, Jay Carney, was named the new White House press secretary Thursday as part of a series of other big staff moves announced by new Chief of Staff Bill Daley.
Carney, a former Time magazine reporter, will succeed Robert Gibbs as the most visible spokesman for President Barack Obama. Other White House aides who have been considered for press secretary include Bill Burton, Stephanie Cutter, Josh Earnest and Jen Psaki.
Several Democratic sources said that based on the private deliberations inside the White House, Carney was the clear front-runner for the job.
One of the sources said the job was "totally lined up for Jay" before Daley was named chief of staff this month. Then Daley reopened the process to more candidates to make sure they were making the right move, and that second round of considerations has come to a close with Carney at the top of the list, the source said.
In an announcement to White House staff, Daley also listed a series of other staff moves on the eve of the last official day at the White House for the president's senior adviser, David Axelrod, and deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina. Both of them are headed to Chicago for prominent roles in the 2012 re-election campaign, with Messina becoming the campaign manager.
Other announcements included two new deputies for Daley: Alyssa Mastromonaco (deputy in charge of operations) and Nancy-Ann DeParle (deputy in charge of policy), replacing Messina and Mona Sutphen, who has been expected to leave for private life for some time.
As CNN has reported, top White House aide Rob Nabors was named the president's chief liaison to Congress. A former top official in the Office of Management and Budget, Nabors was a senior adviser to then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
The president's current congressional lobbyist, former congressional aide Phil Schiliro, had intended to leave at the end of 2010 but will stay on to help with the transition, Daley's announcement said.
In another long-expected move, David Lane was named a counselor to Daley with a coveted "assistant to the president" title as well. Lane is a Daley favorite who served as his chief staff when Daley was commerce secretary. He recently stepped down as CEO of ONE, Bono's group that fights poverty and preventable diseases around the world, to join the White House staff.
Other positions announced by Daley included:
– Ron Bloom, assistant to the president for manufacturing policy (National Economic Council)
– Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president and deputy senior adviser
– Emmett Beliveau, deputy assistant to the president and chief of staff to the chief of staff
– Jon Carson, deputy assistant to the president and director of the Office of Public Engagement
– Danielle Crutchfield, deputy assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance
– David Cusack, deputy assistant to the president and director of advance
– Mike Strautmanis, deputy assistant to the president and counselor for strategic engagement to the senior adviser
– Jessica Wright, deputy assistant to the president and director of scheduling
– Brian Deese, special assistant to the president and deputy director of the National Economic Council