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Obama taps Minnesota native to be chief of staff

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President Barack Obama was expected Friday to formally announce that he has chosen Stillwater, Minn., native Denis McDonough to be his chief of staff, the Associated Press reports.

McDonough is the president’s deputy national security adviser, who was said to be in the running for the job with Ron Klain, who served as Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff for two years. McDonough is reported to be widely respected among White house staffers, the AP says.

McDonough, 43, played safety on winning football teams at St. John’s in Collegeville, Minn.

McDonough has been part of Obama’s close inner circle since the 2008 campaign. The AP reported that McDonough has played a key role in all of Obama's major national security decisions, offering influential counsel on Iraq and Afghanistan, responses to natural disasters in Haiti and Japan and the repeal of the military's ban on openly gay service members.

McDonough would be Obama's fifth chief of staff. Current White House chief of staff Jack Lew has been nominated by Obama to be the next Treasury secretary.

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