Patrick Dillon, another Iowa connection in Obama White House

A man who served as Chet Culver's campaign manager in 2006 will be a key insider in the Obama White House. Patrick Dillon once served as chief of staff political director and press secretary for Congressman Leonard Boswell and he's been Governor Culver's chief of staff for the past year. Dillon, who is 31 years old, resigned from that job in Culver's administration last week and sources confirm he'll be working as deputy director of political affairs in the White House. 

Ronald Reagan was the first president to install a political office inside the Obama White House. Barack Obama has asked Patrick Gaspard, a longtime operative in the labor movement, to be his political director with Dillon, now, as deputy.

Obama also has asked Dillon's wife, Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, to be the executive director of the Democratic National Committee.  She worked as the battleground states coordinator for Obama's presidential campaign.

Patrick Dillon worked on John Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign.  Jen O'Malley Dillon ran Edwards' 2008 Iowa Caucus campaign. Patrick Dillon also has worked for former Senator Tom Daschle and current Senator/former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.  Dillon is from Texas and went to college at Georgetown.

UPDATE:  In 2006, Dillon was not only the campaign manager for Chet Culver's gubernatorial campaign, he served as the primary point man for the press for much of the campaign. The kind of double duty isn't easy. Now, many are waiting to see what the other male spouse of an Obama insider winds up doing.  Jackie Norris is serving as Michelle Obama's chief of staff.  Her husband, John Norris, is another longtime Democratic operative who has yet to resign from his post as chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board. Here's some background on the political power couple.

This is the news release from the Obama Transition Office about Patrick Dillon:

President-Elect Obama Announces More Key White House Staff

WASHINGTON – Today, President-elect Barack Obama announced the following White House staff: Danielle Crutchfield, Director of Scheduling for the President; Marvin Nicholson, Trip Director for the President; Emmett Beliveau, Director of Advance; and Patrick Dillon, Deputy Director of Political Affairs.

The following announcements were made today:

President-elect Obama said, "I am pleased to announce the addition of these individuals to my team.  Danielle, Marvin and Emmett played key roles on my campaign team and I will rely on their talent and expertise in the White House. My administration also will benefit from Patrick's experience and I'm pleased to have him joining our team. I look forward to working with all of them in the years ahead."

Danielle Crutchfield, Director of Scheduling for the President

As Deputy Director of Scheduling for the Obama campaign, Crutchfield oversaw the execution of the President elect's day to day schedule and was responsible for managing a wide range of complicated planning including the President's foreign trip in July, the coordination of the schedules of all four principals and the management of state scheduling operations. Prior to joining the Obama Campaign, Crutchfield worked as a staff assistant and later as Deputy Scheduler for Senator Maria Cantwell. She also spent a year working for Paul Begala.  Crutchfield grew up in Seattle, Washington and she is a 2003 graduate of Hampton University.

Marvin Nicholson, Trip Director for the President

In 1998, while working at a surf shop in Boston, Massachusetts Nicholson first met Senator John Kerry.  After meeting again at the end of the summer Kerry offered Nicholson an internship in his Washington Senate office.  Around the same time Nicholson was offered a caddie slot at the famous Augusta National Golf Club, home of the masters delaying his arrival in Washington. He worked for two years as Senator Kerry's personal assistant before leaving in 2003 to hit the campaign trail as Kerry's "Body Guy."  Following the 2004 election, Nicholson returned to Washington and spent the next two years working as Kerry's personal assistant/trip director.  In Febuary 2007, following Kerry's announcement that he would not seek another run for the Presidency, Nicholson joined the Obama Campaign as the National Trip Director.

Emmett Beliveau, Director of Advance

Beliveau is the Executive Director and CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009.Before his current assignment, Beliveau served as the Director of Advance for President-elect Barack Obama's presidential campaign where he oversaw hundreds of major events. Before joining the Obama Campaign, Beliveau practiced law in Washington, D.C. He also held staff positions on the presidential campaigns of Vice President Al Gore and Senator John Kerry, and served as a Research Fellow for the Denmark-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Beliveau is a graduate of Colby College in his home state of Maine and of the Georgetown University Law Center. He lives with his wife and daughter, who was born the day before Election Day, in Washington, D.C.

Patrick Dillon, Deputy Director of Political Affairs

Dillon has served as Chief of Staff to Iowa Governor Chet Culver since 2006.  Prior to that, he was campaign manager for Culver's gubernatorial campaign.  Previously, Dillon was a national political advisor to former Senator John Edwards, and across a decade of campaign experience, has served in senior roles with campaigns including Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign, former Senator Tom Daschle, Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell, and the winning Virginia gubernatorial campaign of Senator Mark Warner.   He began his career with the progressive think tank and advocacy group NDN/New Democrat Network.  A native of Texas who calls Iowa home, he received a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University.

UPDATE II:  Here's the statement issued by Dillon's most recent boss:


(DES MOINES) – Governor Chet Culver issued the following statement today congratulating former Chief of Staff Patrick Dillon on his new appointment as Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President Barack Obama. 

"I could not be happier for Patrick, and the First Lady, Lt. Governor, and I wish him well in his new role at the White House.  For more than three years, Patrick has been an invaluable member of our team – first during my campaign for Governor and then as Chief of Staff.  Though we are all sad to see him go, Patrick’s skill and expertise will serve the President well in the coming years, and I couldn’t think of a better choice.  Though he may no longer reside here, he will always be an Iowan.  Our state couldn’t have a better friend in the Obama-Biden Administration.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.