pete rouse is the first asian american white house chief of staff

This week, as many expected, news broke that President Barack Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel is stepping down from the administration and headed back home to Chicago to make a run for mayor. The official announcement is imminent.

Emmanuel's replacement? Pete Rouse, long-time senior adviser to President Obama, who doesn't have much of a public profile but considerable influence in the West Wing. And happens to be Japanese American (his mother is Japanese): Emanuel's Departure Set; Replacement Is Longtime Aide.

Senior aides to Mr. Obama described Mr. Rouse as a temporary pick, but one who is likely to stay for several months and may in the end turn out to be the president's final choice. Mr. Rouse has expressed reservations about holding the job for an extended period.

The decision to tap Mr. Rouse reflects a desire by the president to maintain his small circle of close advisers for now rather than bringing in an outsider or elder statesman to present a new face as Mr. Obama heads into the second half of his term with his popularity down and his party facing the possibility of big losses in November. Known as a fixer inside the White House, Mr. Rouse has had a largely unseen hand in most of the president's big policy decisions of the last 20 months.

"There's a complete loyalty and trust with somebody like Pete," said Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary.
More here: Pete Rouse poised to replace Rahm Emanuel. Although he's been one of Obama's closest advisers (aka "the quiet fixer") for years, and has had a huge hand in the President's major policy decisions, it sounds like he'll be serving as a temporary replacement, at least for now.

Nevertheless, if I'm not mistaken, that makes Rouse the White House's first Asian American chief of staff. All things considered, this is quite awesome. Or as Jeff Yang puts it, HOLY COW. Prez Obama to appoint Pete Rouse to replace Rahm - first *Asian American* White House Chief of Staff!

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