Bob Schieffer: Tom Daschle an "Interesting Choice" for Obama Chief of Staff

While speculation has wielded mostly around senior advisor Pete Rouse as White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's replacement should he run for mayor of Chicago, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer went on the record Tuesday with another pick-- former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle.

"The president could do worse than Tom Daschle," Schieffer said. "I'm not in the business of advising presidents on who to hire or what to do, but he would be a very interesting choice."

"Chiefs of staff make an enormous difference in any White House- Republican or Democrat," Schieffer told CBS News' Jan Crawford in an appearance on "Washington Unplugged" Tuesday. Daschle "really knows the Hill and really knows the issues."

New York Times' chief political correspondent Jeff Zeleny also appeared on CBSNews.com's daily political webcast, reporting the president may appoint a temporary replacement if Emanuel makes a mayoral announcement, and fill the position permanently after the midterm elections.

"What a big impact this will have on the White House -- a Rahm-free White House -- it will be a different place," he said. But Washington will be a different place if the Republicans win their place in the House and expand their presence in the Senate. The timing is pretty good for a change in strategy."

Zeleny said Tuesday the temporary replacement could be Rouse, who served as chief of staff to Mr. Obama in the Senate, and was Daschle's chief of staff when he was majority leader. Then Rouse, Zeleny said, "had the nickname of being the 101st senator."

Though, sources tell Zeleny, Rouse "does not want the job longer term."

There's certainly the possibility Mr. Obama taps someone from the "outside to bring in new blood and fresh perspective," though Washington Unplugged's political roundtable deemed it unlikely.

Rahm "is the closest thing really to a prime minister that we've had," Schieffer said. "He has been carrying out the president's wishes and ran a pretty tight ship."

Zeleny, who has been covering Emanuel for nearly ten years, said, "His eyes light up when he talks about the prospect of being mayor of Chicago. All points lean towards him running."

"A cooler temperature might be what that building needs on November 3rd," he added.

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