Obama Names Rouse '68 Chief of Staff



Pete Rouse
Pete Rouse ’68, a longtime advisor to President Obama, was named interim White House chief of staff Oct. 1, succeeding Rahm Emanuel. “Pete is known as a skillful problem solver,” the president said. “There is a saying around the White House: ‘Let’s let Pete fix it.’” Rouse majored in history at Colby and earned graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Here’s what people are saying about Rouse in the news:

“Pete’s strategic sense has played a big part in the direction of virtually every big decision that’s made inside of this White House. The type of trust that the president and others throughout this administration have in Pete is enormous.”
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (Associated Press, “Rouse, Insider’s Insider, To Replace Emanuel,” Sept. 30)

“He’s got a network that will serve him well as his eyes and ears. … I think this will be an ever-expanding circle of influence and responsibility.”
Former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, for whom Rouse served as a chief of
staff (New York Times, “Filling an Aide’s Shoes With Very Different Feet,” Sept. 30)

“The president trusts Pete as much as anyone in the White House.”
Dan Pfeiffer, former Daschle aide, now Obama’s communications director (NYT, above)

“Pete was always as good as his word.”
Dave Hoppe, former chief of staff to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
(USA Today, “Obama staffer Pete Rouse hailed as ‘ultimate pragmatist,’” Oct. 4)

“People will find that if you try to build a coalition against Pete, it’s not likely to be successful.”
Mark Patterson, chief of staff at the Treasury Department (USA Today, above)

“One of the smartest things he [Obama] did after being elected to the Senate was choosing Pete as chief of staff. … That indicated to people on the Hill that he was serious.”
Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
(Los Angeles Times, “Low-profile Obama aide gets top spot,” Oct. 2)

“He has no interest in personal publicity whatsoever.”
Sen. Richard Durbin, for whom Rouse served as chief of staff (Los Angeles Times, above)

blog comments powered by Disqus


  • On January 14, 2011, Tony Jordan wrote:
    He was my roommate for the Spring semester of my sophomore year. When he was at Colby he wanted to make the baseball team as a 3rd baseman. I used to hit him grounders so he could work on his fielding. I don't know if he ever made the team but when he was named interim Chief of Staff I sent him an email (peterouse@whitehouse.gov) congratulating him. I said "You always wanted to handle the hot corner. Well here's your chance." Although I've been following his career I haven't seen or spoken to him since our days at Colby.