Denis R. McDonough

As Jack Lew moves on to Treasury Secretary, President Obama is reportedly looking to his national security team for Lew’s replacement.

From the New York Times:

President Obama is planning to elevate a key national security deputy, Denis R. McDonough, to White House chief of staff, administration officials said on Wednesday, making perhaps his closest foreign policy adviser the gatekeeper to the Oval Office…

The appointment would also place a national security expert in a job that will require confronting a range of thorny domestic issues, including the budget, gun violence and immigration, as well as dealing with Congress — a requirement that tripped up at least one of his predecessors.

McDonough’s chief asset seems to be personal loyalty to the President and willingness to take on distasteful tasks.

Mr. McDonough, his colleagues at the White House say, has a reputation for taking on problems no one else wants. He coordinated, for example, the administration’s response to the deadly attack on the American Mission in Benghazi, Libya, and its messy aftermath….

He is also close to John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, who was recently nominated to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency…

He also convened a series of meetings to redefine the American mission in Afghanistan, known informally as “Afghan Good Enough.” That helped shape Mr. Obama’s narrower ambitions for American involvement, which were on display last week when he announced an accelerated plan to hand over responsibility for security to Afghan forces.

Given these appointments and likely appointments it seems the Obama Administration has decided to ride out its second term with the same principles as the first.

Photo by Chuck Kennedy of the White House, public domain