Already a Bloomberg.com user?
Sign in with the same account.
A White House job is a career pinnacle, but sometimes it can be too much of a good thing. "Most people last 18 months," says Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff to President Clinton. "It's the most exhausting, most comprehensive experience in your life." This means President Obama is likely to see some high- profile exits by yearend. Below is a handicapper's guide to departures, based on interviews with top White House officials and their associates.
Summers, 55, has told friends that he's unhappy about his White House role, and he didn't get the coveted Fed chairmanship.
Ex-Fed Governor Alan Blinder; Roger Altman, co-chairman of Evercore Partners; National Economic Council Deputy Director Jason Furman.
Obama sees him as the leader of his economic brain trust. He was a crucial player in helping to right the economy after the financial crisis.
Orszag's soon-to-be second wife lives in New York; at 41, he may desire a private-sector job—and salary. He was about to leave when Obama insisted he stay.
Fiscal hawks: Robert Greenstein, director of the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities; Urban Institute President Robert Reischauer.
He prepared Obama's $3.8 trillion fiscal 2011 budget and was a key policy architect of the stimulus and health-care bills.
After managing two wars since 2006, Gates, 66, is eager to retreat to his home near Seattle but may stay until the first Afghan troop withdrawals in July 2011.
Obama may turn to Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who could demur for family reasons, or former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).
He has earned Obama's trust, led a turnaround in Iraq, and forced the Pentagon to give up speculative, costly high-tech toys.
He'll probably stay until mid-2011. If Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley doesn't run in 2011—and friends say he likely will—Emanuel, 50, would jump in.
Tom Daschle, ex-Senate majority leader; Emanuel aide Phil Schiliro; Tom Donilon, deputy national security advisor.
One of the most powerful Presidential aides in decades. Devised winning strategies to pass the stimulus plan and health-care reform.
Axelrod, 55, went right from the campaign to the White House with little downtime. His wife, Susan, remained in Chicago. He is likely to stay until mid-2011.
Obama would almost certainly turn to trusted insiders such as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs or former campaign manager David Plouffe.
Nobody else has his political savvy and personal relationship with Obama. He likely will be a top 2012 campaign strategist.