McDonough has been a member of Obama’s “tight inner circle” since the 2008 campaign, the National Journal reports, and has a much closer personal relationship with the president than Ron Klain, another front-runner for the job.
“Denis has the advantage of being close to the president,” David Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official and expert on the National Security Council, told the National Journal. “In this White House, having the trust of the president is absolutely sine qua non if you want to actually be a player. And this president is very parsimonious with his trust.”
McDonough is currently serving as the deputy national security advisor in the Obama administration.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on Jan. 9 tweeted his support for McDonough:
“It'd be great to see Denis McDonough as President's next Chief of Staff. He'd bring that Minnesota work ethic to a tough job. Good luck!”