Sunday, January 20, 2013

Obama set to name a Catholic as his chief of staff

The Washington Post notes:
The man in line to become President Obama’s next chief of staff is one of his most loyal and trusted confidants — a rare Washington player, associates said, whose sole objective is protecting and advancing the interests of his boss.
Denis McDonough
Denis McDonough, 43, is widely known for his pivotal role as deputy national security adviser for the past two years, helping guide the U.S. military drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan and the handling of the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi,Libya.
But McDonough, who is expected to be named in the next several days, sources close to him say, has had a far-broader portfolio that includes developing political strategy and playing enforcer for those who stray from White House talking points.
More than any of Obama’s other chiefs of staff — Rahm Emanuel, William Daley and Jack Lew, who has been nominated to head the U.S. Treasury — McDonough is an Obama true believer who keeps an eye on burnishing his legacy, said those who have worked with him.
“Denis is one of the president’s closest advisers and friends,” said Michéle Flournoy, former undersecretary of defense for policy who left the Pentagon’s third-ranking job last year. “There are few people who know the president’s mind as well as Denis. He’s been with him through so many phases and situations. He’s very good at having a sense of how the president will view something or react to something or where he’s come down on a given issue.”…
…McDonough’s influence extends beyond national security. A devout Catholic, he has served as something of an informal Obama counselor on religious matters, such as during last year’s debate over the White House’s handling of contraception rules under the new health-care law.
TIME elaborates:
McDonough knows Washington. His primary experience outside the White House was on Capitol Hill, where he was a staffer to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. That gave him an intricate knowledge of the eccentric rules of power on the Hill and particular expertise in national security, which was his area. It also made him a pragmatist: his catch-phrase is “it is what it is,” which he and other White House staffers use as a kind of realist touchstone in debates. That realism is softened by McDonough’s underlying set of moral convictions that colleagues say derives from his faith as a practicing Catholic. The combination is one Obama came to rely on throughout the first term as McDonough was present in the final, small group debates on most crucial issues in the war on terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan.
And Michael Sean Winters adds:
This is one of the top jobs in Washington, and McDonough has been a friend to the Church during his tenure at the national Security Council. His brother is a priest who was Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Paul.


  1. Well, where was this guy when Obama pushed through Obamacare? "Devout Catholic" ?

    1. Exactly. I don't get this at all. Either he's not very "trusted" and Obama doesn't listen to his advisement, or he's not very Catholic.

  2. i need to read up on him. If he is a friend of the church, there isn't enough of him or he really isn't that persuasive.

  3. Seems like Obama's administration and our federal govt is crawling with self-proclaimed "devout" Catholics who I must assume are intelligent enough to understand Church teaching but choose to violate it, justify their opposition to it and work diligently against it! Then on whatever Sunday they feel like getting out of bed, they get in line for Holy Communion, a pat on the head from the Bishop. From there it's back to their desks to promote abortion, gay so-called marriage and the stripping of religious liberty from the 1st Amendment. Apparently the word "Catholic" has a meaning in the language of politics that is as subjective and relative as any other term they use and abuse to gain authority and power! I guess when only a few of our Shepherds seem to have courage enough to defend Christ's bride and protect her from such scandal, it's no wonder Mass attendance is down and so few Catholics statistically believe that ANYTHING the Church teaches about sin and sacraments has any literal affect their salvation! God help us!!


  4. Check out his devout brothers: