President Obama's top adviser, David Axelrod, will likely be replaced by campaign strategist David Plouffe when he leaves the White House early next year.
Axelrod tells National Journalthat he still plans on leaving Washington in the spring to head back to Chicago to work on the president's reelection campaign, and he expects Plouffe--who was a key member of Obama's presidential campaign--to step in to the White House soon.
"I think he will come, which is huge," Axelrod said in an e-mail, "but his portfolio will be slightly different."
Plouffe served as campaign manager for Obama's 2008 run and has been widely expected to join the administration. He currently serves as a senior adviser for Chicago-based AKPD, the political-consulting group founded by Axelrod.
The White House is bracing for a great deal of turnover in the coming months. In addition to Axelrod's departure, Obama is searching for a replacement for economic adviser Lawrence Summers and hopes to win confirmation for Jacob Lew, his pick to head the Office of Management and Budget, during the lame-duck session.
On Fox News Sunday this morning, Axelrod said he will be leaving the White House "sometime in the spring, late winter, early spring, coming back here to Chicago, and working on that project."
Axelrod downplayed the challenges that results of the midterm elections might imply for the president’s reelection. “Two years is an eternity,” he said. “We’re going to have a whole different situation come 2012.”
CORRECTION: The original version of this report incorrectly gave Plouffe's work location. He currently serves as a senior adviser for Chicago-based AKPD, the political-consulting group founded by Axelrod.