The space shuttle Discovery, riding atop a NASA 747 transport jet, on a final fly-by over the White House. (JIM BOURG/REUTERS)

De had been a lawyer on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, a key staffer on the 9/11 Commission and principal deputy assistant attorney general for legal policy at Justice before moving to the White House in 2010, first as deputy staff secretary and then into his current job early last year. That’s a lot of security clearances.

His replacement will be Douglas Kramer, an attorney who’s now in the White House Counsel’s office and before that worked in the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

Kramer, we’re told, had been a student of Obama’s back when he was teaching at the University of Chicago law school. Must have gotten a pretty good grade.