John Podesta: Not a Golfing Buddy

Clinton's new chief of staff is a blue-collar lawyer who loves roller coasters. He'll be right at home

When Erskine Bowles first arrived at the White House as deputy chief of staff, he had a problem with one of his subordinates. Actually, the problem was that John Podesta refused to be his subordinate, even though the President had ordered it. "John's the kind of guy--you've got to earn his respect," says Bowles, laughing. "He damn well wasn't going to give it to me."

Not a particularly good start. But when the two were thrown together to salvage the doomed nomination of Henry Foster for Surgeon General ("It was pretty well screwed up by then," Bowles says), Bowles noticed something...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!