Barack Obama will keep the White House political office running, despite bipartisan calls to close it, Politico reports. Karl Rove’s old job will be handed to Patrick Gaspar, a labor operative and national political director for Obama’s campaign. Members of both parties had slammed the office, and John McCain had pledged to close it; other experts say it’s a presidential essential.
On the campaign trail, Obama attacked the methods of Karl Rove, but didn't say he'd close the office. “Many voters will be disappointed that Barack Obama is doing nothing to make his White House less political,” said an RNC spokesman. But an aide under Reagan, who created the office, said it was essential, letting Obama “communicate with his supporters and mobilize them for important battles.”