You're Hired

Obama's New Staff Strategy: Managing New Laws Than Making Them

President Obama is remaking his staff with the aim of maximizing its ability to push though his agenda via executive action, instead of passing bills through Congress. After the midterm elections, Congress is expected to be even more hostile to Obama, and he won’t need his staff to maximize his clout on Capitol Hill, as he did before. White House adviser David Axelrod says Obama will focus more on “managing” new laws than making more of them. Expect more executive orders, more use of the bully pulpit, more use of the president’s power to enact regulation. Now that health-care and financial-regulatory reform have been passed, Obama will concentrate on implementing the new laws. Climate change, which Democrats on the Hill were unable to push though, will be attacked through the Clean Air Act, with the EPA pushing for lower emissions rules. The White House staff has been under review for months, and trusted advisers will fill major positions. Peter Rouse has already replaced Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff; Austan Goolsbee took over from Christina Romer as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Bill Burton will take over if Robert Gibbs quits as press secretary.