Spokesmen for President Barack Obama have given conflicting reports about upcoming changes to his staff.
Last week, Obama's senior political advisor David Axelrod said that "significant changes" will be announced regarding the White House Cabinet when Obama returns from his holiday vacation in Hawaii. On Dec. 26, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said there will not be any major changes heading into 2011.
According to The New York Times, the Reorganization Plan — a review of how the White House staff can be modernized — was expanded following sweeping victories by Republicans in the midterm elections. Before Obama left for Hawaii, he was given recommendations on potential staff changes.
"This is a bubble. It’s been an intense couple of years, and there’s an advantage to bringing in folks who have a fresh set of senses — smell, touch and feel — about what’s going on out there," Axelrod told the media outlet.
Among the staff members who will take on different roles in 2011 are the two spokesmen who provided conflicting reports. According to FOX News, Axelrod will leave the White House to work on Obama's re-election campaign, while Gibbs is considering a new role within the executive office.
Recent media reports have indicated that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson may succeed Hilary Clinton as the Secretary of State next year. In April 2010, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington pegged Richardson as one of the United States' worst governors.