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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 02/19/2013

Obama’s senior-staff turnover: typical but challenging

(Evan Vucci - AP)
As key members of Team Obama move on, a new study finds that President Obama is beginning his second term with less than a third of the senior staff that comprised his original team — a level of turnover that’s pretty typical among modern second terms.

The report from the Brookings Institution shows that 71 percent of Obama’s “A-team” has left, compared to 78 percent for President Ronald Reagan, 74 percent for Clinton, and 63 percent for George W. Bush.

The paper also examines the importance of senior staff to the president and the toll that turnover takes: “a loss of institutional memory, time lost hiring and orienting a successor, the disappearance of unique networking contacts.”

Most companies in the private sector would consider the typical White House turnover rates “unthinkable.”

But there’s a silver lining here, the author suggests. Second-term hiring affords the White House the chance to bring in new blood and fresh ideas. And it could assuage “disgruntled” constituencies by hiring from their ranks. “Repaying political debts could advance the president’s efforts to pursue a vigorous legislative agenda,” the author writes.

And finally, a bit of advice: The paper assesses the president’s agenda and suggests that in Obama’s second term Team Obama recruit from Capitol Hill, which could “provide necessary expertise for the legislative battles that lie ahead.”

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 02/19/2013

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