Senior Obama aide Pete Rouse leaving administration
December 12th, 2013
12:06 PM ET
8 months ago

Senior Obama aide Pete Rouse leaving administration

Washington (CNN) – In the "will he stay or will he go?" saga, a Senior Obama Administration official confirms to CNN that, this time it seems, Pete Rouse really is leaving the administration.

When asked if this time Rouse was really leaving, a Senior Administration Official said coyly, "He's said many times that he is leaving. This time, people seem to believe him."

Rouse has been one of President Barack Obama's closest and longest serving aides, in the key advisory role of Counselor to the President. When Obama entered the U.S. Senate in January 2005, Rouse served as his Chief of Staff. When Obama was elected President in 2008, Rouse followed him to the White House, serving as key member of Obama's his inner circle.

Rouse served as interim Chief of Staff for the President for months after Obama's first Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, departed the White House in October 2010, until his successor, William Daley, was installed.

Reports of his imminent departure have been floating around since August, when CNN reported that he was telling friends that he would leave by the fall.

Rouse's departure comes as the President brings in political heavyweights John Podesta and Phil Schiliro.

Podesta led Obama's transition team following the 2008 election, and will serve as Counselor to the President, though White House officials say he is not replacing Rouse. He worked as President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff – shepherding that administration through rough times like the Monica Lewinksy scandal, the President's impeachment and the war in Kosovo.

Schiliro was Obama's top liaison to Congress during the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and is returning to help right the troubled program, at a time when the President needs support from Democrats on Capitol Hill.

The staff changes follow a rough year for the administration, including failed gun legislation, stalled immigration reform, the government shutdown, the botched HealthCare.gov website rollout and record low approval ratings for the President.

When speaking about Rouse, the President himself acknowledged the difficulties of losing a trusted adviser in an interview granted to the New York Times.

"It will be a tough loss … But it may be a situation where he feels more comfortable with some discreet assignments here and there, and certainly I will continue to rely on him for the good counsel and advice that I really can't get from any other people in this town."

Rouse had spent years on Capitol Hill before joining then freshman Sen. Obama's staff in 2005. During his years as Chief of Staff to Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, became known as the "101st senator."


Filed under: Pete Rouse • White House
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. just saying

    five years of failure and incompetence was his limit i guess....

    December 12, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    You can bet he is going to be doing stuff "behind the scenes"........which is where Obama does some of his worst activities.

    December 12, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. just saying

    He helped lead our country out of the gop manufactured depression, this us the greatest administration in our recent history. Anyone with half a brain can see the gop desperately want to go back to the policies if their party, and America will suffer again if that happens.

    Hillary 2016!

    December 12, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Ol' Yeller

    @just saying

    "five years of failure and incompetence was his limit i guess...."
    Yea, we like to shut 'em down after a while and not just keeping running them and electing them despite abberant and criminal behavior.
    But, I understand.... ya'll are running out of old, rich, white deviants which limits your ability to run candiadte and staff White Houses (that's pretty funny, "Staff a White House"... like your party will ever see the inside of one again at the rate you are going).

    Just saying...

    December 12, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. simplyput

    Podesta, the true author of the progressive manifesto has arrived: Progressives stand with people, not privelege, progresstives believe in the common good, and a government that offers a hand up. Progressives believe that believe people are equal in the eyes of God and under the law. Blah, blah, blah. The progressive marines have landed in the war zone, and the first hit has been made.

    December 12, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. just saying

    We all know how the Republicans work, follow your script, and reap the benefits of corruption, you know like haliburton, the paper plate, spork and napkin @55$ a pop, flown from Cheney's factory in new England all the way to aphgan? He pocketed hundreds of millions for his efforts, more good old gop capatalism .

    December 12, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @Rick McDaniel "You can bet he is going to be doing stuff "behind the scenes"........which is where Obama does some of his worst activities."

    And of course since you don't know what these activities will be that is proof positive that they are the worst possible thing you can imagine. The number myth of the conspiracy theory: "i can't see it so that proves it and there is a cover-up"

    Did you know there is a pink whale in my living room? You cannot disprove it from where you are so that is proof there is a pink whale in my living room right? And visitors to my house will say there is no pink whale but that is a cover up conspiracy.

    December 12, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    just saying

    five years of failure and incompetence was his limit i guess....
    --------------------–
    Five seems to be your upper limit, too. Rouse has been with Obama since at least 2004. BTW, Colin Powell left after four.

    December 12, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Testing 123

    Obama only listens to ONE senior advisor and that is Valerie Jarret. She is the reason why Rahm left and I'm sure this guy to. You see folks, it is not Obama calling the shots but the puppet mistress, Valerie Jarrett.

    December 12, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    simplyput

    Podesta, the true author of the progressive manifesto has arrived: Progressives stand with people, not privelege, progresstives believe in the common good, and a government that offers a hand up. Progressives believe that believe people are equal in the eyes of God and under the law. Blah, blah, blah. ... ... ...
    ------------------------–
    I shudder to think about what this person believes. Let's start not all people are equal, which is about as anti-democratic as you can get. A belief that there exists a superior race of humans. I wonder which breed this person feels they belong to.

    December 12, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. anonymous

    One little rat leaves, two big rats arrive.... the White House still has a massive rodent problem.

    December 12, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. simplyput

    @Rudy
    Continue *shuddering*, my friend. This person believes in God and the individual. Never said people weren't equal, so quit pretending you have any idea. By the way, those are his ideas, I was just commenting on the transparency of the ruling liberal hypocricy. Shudder away; you are a threatened voice.

    December 12, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |