theGrio’s 100: Rob Nabors, navigating congressional waters for Obama

Rob Nabors eats lunch with President Barack Obama (Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg-Pool/Getty Images)

Rob Nabors eats lunch with President Barack Obama (Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg-Pool/Getty Images)

Who is Rob Nabors? 

Nabors was named last month as Obama’s deputy chief of staff for policy, getting the promotion after serving the director of legislative affairs at the White House, managing relations between the administration and Capitol Hill. He also has stints in the White House Office of Budget and Management under both presidents Clinton and Obama, as well as nearly a decade as a top aide on Capitol Hill.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100? 

Nabors’ role can’t be understated. He was the lead negotiator for the White House during the very complicated negotiations on Capitol Hill over the so-called fiscal cliff late last year, carrying the administration’s message into meetings with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and top GOP aides. He will now oversee the process of policy development at the White House on nearly every issue.

“He’s our Congress whisperer,” Obama adviser David Plouffe said of Nabors in a recent article in the Washington Post. “Rob’s got a great instinct for where the deal lies, what Democrats are willing to do, what Republicans are willing to do. He’ll say, ‘Here’s what’s going on, here are what the odds are of success.’ He doesn’t ever paint a rosier picture than exists.”

“He is very methodical and takes you through things point by point,” added David Krone, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid’s chief of staff in the same piece. “And if it is a point that is a priority [for the president], he makes that clear.”

What’s next for Nabors? 

Gun control, immigration and more key budget deals are in Nabor’s future.