Obama’s power couples


White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest at Monday’s news briefing. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

*Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken and Evan Ryan, a top aide to Vice President Biden and nominated this month to be assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs;

*New deputy White House communications director Katie Beirne and new Justice Department head of public affairs Brian Fallon, both former top aides to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.

*Former OMB deputy director and now counselor to Secretary of State John Kerry — and talked about as a possible deputy secretary of State — Heather Higginbottom, and deputy assistant secretary of State Danny Sepulveda.

*White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest and assistant secretary of Treasury for public affairs Natalie Wyeth Earnest.

*Deputy White House press secretary Jamie Smith, and principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs Eric Pierce. (And new parents of Lincoln Rose Pierce Smith, who’s not quite three months old.)

Public/private couples: Sometimes one member of a power couple leaves the government. That group includes:

Doug Lute, a top National Security Council aide stays on if confirmed to be ambassador to NATO though Jane Holl Lute is no longer deputy secretary of Homeland Security.

The appropriately named Samantha Power, a senior aide on the National Security Council while husband Cass Sunstein was head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB, is expected to be ambassador to the United Nations, but he’s teaching at Harvard Law.

Cathy Russell, chief of staff to Jill Biden, has been nominated ambassador at large for global women’s issues but her spouse, former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, has moved on to the Council on Foreign Relations .

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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