WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is bringing back an internal White House political office as this year's congressional election approaches. Obama made the unusual presidential move of closing the White House political operation in 2011 and shifting its director to national party headquarters.
Congressional Democrats have been grumbling that no one inside the White House is focused on the political environment, with their jobs on the line and tied to Obama's performance. Obama announced Friday that he's named David Simas, a top adviser grappling with problems with his health care rollout, to oversee a new Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. The office will be slimmed down from the 15-member operation that used to exist before 2011, with about a third of the staff.