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Minnesotan in running to be Obama's next chief-of-staff

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Stillwater, Minn., native Denis McDonough is said to be among two contenders for the newly open job of chief-of-staff for President Barack Obama, National Journal reports.

McDonough, 43, is now the president's deputy national security adviser, and he is in the running for the job with Ron Klain, who served as Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff for two years, the publication reports.

McDonough played safety on winning football teams at St. John's in Collegeville, Minn., MinnPost noted in a 2009 profile.

"Like any big game, if you don't feel the pressure, you're probably not ready to play to the best of your ability," McDonough told MinnPost.

McDonough has been part of Obama’s close inner circle since the 2008 campaign and has a closer personal relationship with the president than Klain, National Journal notes.

If Obama goes with McDonough, it could be a signal that the president plans to give more attention to foreign affairs in his second term, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Current White House chief of staff Jack Lew has been tapped by President Obama to be the next Treasury secretary as Obama shuffles his top advisers. CNN reports that Obama's new cabinet is shaping up to be a "boys club."

Mayor Chris Coleman is rooting for McDonough:

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