In this March 6, 2011 file photo, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough speaks at an interfaith forum at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, Va. People familiar with White House thinking say President Barack Obama is likely to name top national security aide Denis McDonough as his next chief of staff, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's pick of Denis McDonough to be his next chief of staff means a longtime confidant and unflappable ally of Obama will be his gatekeeper during his second term.
Clinton-era chief of staff John Podesta, who worked with McDonough in the Senate, says Obama trusts McDonough implicitly - perhaps more than anyone else in the White House.
McDonough has served as the president's deputy national security adviser. Obama's aides describe him as a hard and loyal worker with vast foreign policy expertise. Former co-workers say he's skilled at both policy and politics, known for putting a human touch on a demanding job.