Who is Pete Rouse? He's not Rahm Emanuel
The president's new chief of staff Pete Rouse, hailed by Obama as a 'skillful problem-solver,' is a Washington veteran known for working quietly behind the scenes and avoiding the media.
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Rouse is credited, for example, with coming up with the compromise that ended with Obama naming Elizabeth Warren as a presidential adviser to help establish a new consumer watchdog agency. Ms. Warren, a Harvard law professor, is a favorite of liberals but a lightning rod for conservatives, and as a presidential appointee, she avoided the Senate confirmation process.Skip to next paragraph
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“There’s a saying around the White House, ‘Let’s let Pete fix it,’ ” Obama said to laughter. “And he does. Pete’s known as a skillful problem-solver, and the good news for him is that we have plenty of problems to solve. “
Rouse, predictably, stood further off to the side than Emanuel as Obama spoke, and did not himself address the crowd after the president’s introduction.
In addition to working for former Senator Daschle of South Dakota for 19 years, Rouse also worked briefly for Sen. Dick Durbin (D) of Illinois, ex-Sen. James Abourezk (D) of South Dakota, and former Lt. Gov. Terry Miller of Alaska.
Mr. Miller is the only Republican Rouse has worked for, telling the newspaper Roll Call in 2004, “I am more interested in what people stand for and what my philosophical compatibility is. I have found only one Republican. All the rest of them have been Democrats.”
Rouse’s mother grew up in Alaska.
Among the well-known Democrats who have worked for Rouse over the years, before Obama’s presidential victory, names include think tank director John Podesta, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, and White House counsel Bob Bauer.
A native of New Haven, Conn., Rouse is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and earned graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University’s Kennedy School. He is not married, and lives alone in Northwest Washington with his two Maine coon cats.