The man in charge of Barack Obama’s transition doesn’t just know where the levers of power are—he practically lives in the engine room. John Podesta is managing his immense task—juggling 30,000 resumes for 8,000 jobs, not to mention some big egos—with surprising calm, despite his reputation for a snappish temper. “Let’s just say my in-box is filled,” he tells the Washington Post.
A Clinton White House aide who made his reputation by fearlessly calling out Hillary Clinton in an early scandal-related memo, Podesta eventually rose to be chief of staff. He spent the Bush years building a liberal government-in-exile. Despite his insider experience, Podesta remains a progressive true believer, and refuses to leverage his position into an administration job.