Rahm rumors move aides to eye new digs

By Al Kamen
Thursday, September 16, 2010; 11:42 PM

The likely departure of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel after the November elections - to be followed by those of senior adviser David Axelrod, Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and who knows how many other top aides early in 2011 - has set off a high-stakes game of musical offices.

And to assist West Wing wannabes, we've updated our online interactive locator map to help you get the turf that's just right for you.

Emanuel's first-floor corner office is fine, though it looks out on one side to West Executive Avenue. Messina's doesn't even have a window.

But, as you can see from the map, they are just a few steps down the hall from the Oval Office. Might be worth trading space and view for that.

There's talk that deputy national security adviser Tom Donilon might replace Emanuel. This would be a huge improvement for him. His cubbyhole has a window, but it's even smaller than Messina's - barely the size of a respectable walk-in closet.

For some, a move might mean no increase in office space. For example, if press secretary Robert Gibbs moves to Axelrod's office, he appears to lose space.

Director of legislative affairs Phil Schiliro, also talked about as a possible Emanuel replacement, has a fine office on the second floor, looking out to Pennsylvania Avenue. Not as nice as the most-excellent corner spot that's home to intergovernmental affairs chief Cecilia Munoz, which overlooks the South Lawn to the Washington Monument, but okay.

Probably would trade it if Obama asked.

Anxious about image

Speaking of moves, some folks in the administration were unhappy that the plan to replace Jack Lew, the deputy secretary of state for management, with longtime Democratic insider Tom Nides became public in Wednesday's In the Loop.

Seems the administration hadn't yet worked out how it was going to deal with the optics of a former Citibank official (Lew's most recent private-sector gig) moving to the Office of Management and Budget and having Nides, now at Morgan Stanley, replacing him at State.

Well, Morgan Stanley maybe didn't do all the really bad stuff that some others did, and Nides has long experience in government.

And Lew ran OMB in the days of budget surpluses.

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