US President Barack Obama, facing a tough re-election fight, on Monday shook up the top ranks of his administration, replacing White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley with budget director Jack Lew.
Lew, an Orthodox Jew, is currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget, a Cabinet-level position and a post he also filled during the Clinton administration.
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He was previously Obama’s deputy secretary of state.
Daley is leaving after just over a year on the job; he replaced Rahm
Emanuel, who left the White House to run successfully for Chicago’s
Lew, like Emanuel, has close Jewish community ties.
There had been speculation in the organized Jewish community about
whether Obama would fill a top spot with someone close to the Jewish
community after the departure last month of Dennis Ross, who had been
Obama’s top Iran policy adviser.
The National Jewish Democratic Council congratulated Lew on the appointment.
NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said: “Throughout his time leading the Office of Management and Budget, Jack Lew has lived his Jewish values every day by working to strengthen the economy and ensuring that painful budget cuts do not strand vulnerable Americans. Mr. Lew has had such deep experience at the Department of State and the White House, and it's wonderful to learn that President Barack Obama has selected him to help lead this White House staff forward -- and to enact this President’s programs. We wish Jack a hearty ‘mazel tov’ -- congratulations -- and wish him all the best in this crucially important new position.”
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