November 16th, 2008
07:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama chooses more White House positions

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Obama-Biden transition team announced new White House staff picks Sunday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The man who steered Barack Obama's Senate office will now move over to the White House with the incoming president.

The Obama Transition Office Sunday morning announced that Peter Rouse, currently Obama's chief of staff in his Senate office, will serve as a senior advisor to the President. Before joining Obama in December 2004, Rouse was chief of staff for 19 years to former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Prior to that he was chief of staff to then-Rep. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Watch: A longtime Obama friend was named a senior White House advisor this weekend

The Obama transition team also announced that Mona Sutphen will serve as a deputy chief of staff. Sutphen is a member of the transition team staff and has been managing director of Stonebridge International LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Washington. From 1991 to 2000 she was a U.S. foreign service officer, and among other assignments she served in the White House at the National Security Council from 1998 to 2000, under President Bill Clinton.

Jim Messina was also named a deputy chief of staff. Messina's currently the director of personnel for the President-elect's transition team. He saved as a national chief of staff for Obama's presidential campaign. Prior to that Messina served as a chief of staff for Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and for Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York. President-elect Obama, in a statement released by the transition team, said "these individuals are important additions to a team with the experience and ability to help our nation overcome pressing challenges at home and around the world."

Filed under: Obama transition
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. James From Chicago

    WOW...At least Obama is picking people with experience,
    unlike Bush. Bush had a bunch of num nuts in his staff.

    November 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. D

    I voted for mc cain but I'm I willing to give BO a chance to fall on his face with style. Its a no brain-er people. Who else can BO pick that has the experience he needs and the capabilities to change washington. He's by himself as an outside. So, he's going to need some of the inside players to get things moving first and then start his agenda of who knows what. We'll have to wait and see what that looks like. God help us all however if BO can't stand up for himself against his cabinet.

    November 16, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Janice Illinois

    Hillary for SOS. Asking Richardson, (judas) would be like being married to a mistress, you'd never forget how You got her, and would always be wondering who might be next. Not worth the trouble for sure!!!

    November 16, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Independent but Leaning

    This makes me want to barf. I just pray that the damage to our country be minimized over the next 4 or 8 years... This administration will have a movie made abot it: The Carter Adminitration II: Jimmuh Returns to Wreck the US Economy. Starring Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Special appearance made by other Socialists, racists and terrorists.

    November 16, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. John Di Gasbarro

    President Elect Obama needs to make should consider Jeffrey Sachs for one of his appointments. This is a very bright individual you can help Obama in various positions..

    November 16, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. billy-bayou

    During the final days of the campaign the obama complained continually about the number of lobbyiest on the McCain campaign staff, Now the obama is puting lobbiest on his staff,some change.

    November 16, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. shemika

    I think tish is actually a good idea that Baraka Obama has choose to have more White House positions since the white house is truly big it would be a great idea to have all this positions so that more people can work there to get paid thats only if they have great experience

    November 16, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. shemika

    I think thisis actually a good idea that Baraka Obama has choose to have more White House positions since the white house is truly big it would be a great idea to have all this positions so that more people can work there to get paid thats only if they have great experience

    November 16, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    Nice choices...appears to be a visually smooth process...good work

    November 16, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. Madam Mijanou

    Where do you get these pundits? Wolf Blitzer must just love the drama, that he and his sunday afternoon pundits are creating!
    By God, can't President-Elect Obama choose his Cabinet on the basis of who is the very best person for the job! Hillary beyond a doubt is the best qualified person for Secretary of State. You have to dig really deep to find anyone who is so loved and respected in the "rest of the world"...all of the CRAP, about keep your enemies closer, keep her out of the Senate, what absolute Bull. Thank God Obama will keep duct tape on your lips....I wonder if there is an equilvalent of duct tape for your brain process? Why don't you just report, and stop this ridiculous speculation? I think the American People are pretty sick of your keeping your ratings high by creating "drama". You will soon find that President Elect Obama is a No kinda Drama soon before you start calling him "Boring"!
    Grow up idiots bring your credibility up....don't worry about your ratings.

    November 16, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Larry

    Sounds like the Chicago Political Machine is moving to Washington,DC!!

    Chicago is doing so well,I cann't wait to see what happens in D.C.

    November 16, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Sue

    We need experience and intelligence..bravo to President-elect for displaying both in his choices so far. Now bring Colin Powell aboard so the Republicans can stop saying "This is change?"

    November 16, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I hope that Obama is not going to hire any more former Clinton people.
    Clinton administration, unfortunately, hired too many Stephanopulisis who were there purely for themselves. They were so busy destroying another guy, including President, that nobody had time to do any work.

    November 16, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. MBW512

    I'm not surprised he's trying to get the best of the best becuase he doesn't know what he is doing! He has not an original idea that he called for CHANGE. I'm really surprised at you supporters! Your so blinded with Obama, you can't see beyond the hand in front of you! Example: Hillary and her possible appt. He distroyed her in the run off and now he needs her and the Clinton staff. Don't forget Bill
    Clintoin lied to you american people that he didn't have sexual relations with Monica. What a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 16, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. amyo

    It's nice to see that the Republicans are complaining again. Just who should Obama pick? Sarah Palin? Give it a rest. You lost.

    November 16, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Great choice!

    This guy has longevity with a good record wherever he's been.

    We need the best of the best.

    And we need the American people to give Obama and his administration a fighting chance to fix what is close to being unfixable.

    November 16, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Dante

    Obama is very smart to pick these people cos they picked him over Hillary Clinton in the primary even if they worked for Bill.Brillant move ,POTUS

    November 16, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. I luv koolaid

    Does anyone else think it strange that Barack Obama has been compared to the greatest US presidents in history and he hasn't even taken office yet?

    November 16, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. starchil

    He must choose experienced people along with the people he does and others that are recommended by people he respects – the last time Democrats were in were the eight years during the Clinton years so naturally we would see some of those people. Beyond Monica and the Republicans constantly tearing him down, things were not that bad during the Clinton years if you recall. Too much is going on in this country to bring in people who don't know how the country is run. If he can get us out of financial debt, restore hope, get us out of Iraq and upgrade our image across the world, he has produced major change and instead of being cynical, perhaps it is more appropriate to wish him well. PS. Change in the White House = The return of competence and the absence of deception.

    November 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. BDT in New York

    Let's see,some peolple have a problem with old Clinton personnel coming back.Did you have a problem when Bush jr. brought Bush sr.old cronies back into the mix.How soon we forget about GOP good ole boy doings and how it has effected this country.You bellow Carter and Clinton but the name Bush will go down in history as the worst father and son president tandem.

    November 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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