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Obama Taps Gene Sperling for Top Economic Advisor

Photo Courtesy - Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images(LANDOVER, Md.) -- President Obama will name Treasury Department official Gene Sperling, a veteran economist and policymaker, to head the National Economic Council, a post he previously held in the Clinton administration.

Sperling, 52, assumes the reins as the latest jobs report puts the nation's unemployment rate at 9.4 percent and notes one in five Americans are underemployed.

The latest round of appointments comes as part of a broader retooling inside the White House, which faces new political realities in Washington and a looming re-election campaign in 2012.

Obama appointed former Commerce secretary Bill Daley as White House chief of staff Thursday, a move widely viewed as a centrist pick who will work well with Republicans.

The president will now focus on finding a replacement for outgoing press secretary Robert Gibbs. Whoever Obama picks will help set the tone for negotiations with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and chart a course for advancing the administration's agenda.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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