Melody Barnes Leaving White House at End of Year

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Melody Barnes (Getty Images)

Politico is reporting that Melody Barnes, President Barack Obama's domestic policy adviser, will leave the administration at the end of the year.

Barnes, an attorney by trade, will spend time with family and consider opportunities in the private sector, senior administration officials told Mike Allen at Politico.

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Politico reported:

Melody Barnes, President Barack Obama's domestic policy adviser, said Thursday she is leaving the White House at the end of the year to spend more time with her family and consider opportunities in the private sector. 

Barnes, a lawyer who was also the top domestic policy adviser on Obama's 2008 campaign, juggled sensitive issues ranging from health care to education to immigration to nutrition. Prior to joining the campaign, she was the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress. From 1995 to 2003, she served as chief counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Her departure — first reported by POLITICO — took colleagues by surprise. She was one of a group of women — senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, communications director Anita Dunn, environmental czar Carol Browner and Council of Economic Advisers chairman Christina Romer — named to high positions in the White House at the start of the administration.

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All except Jarrett have left, as have deputy senior adviser Stephanie Cutter and deputy communications director Jen Psaki. 

In a statement, Obama said Barnes "has left a lasting legacy, developing and implementing policies that have helped remake our education system, spurred innovation, and fostered opportunity and equality for millions of Americans."

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The departure comes at a critical time for President Obama, who is in the midst of a grueling re-election campaign. He is also trying to run the country as it staggers out of one of the worst economic recessions in recent history. Perhaps he'll seize the opportunity to retool his administration. We will stay tuned.

Read more at Politico.

In other news: Qaddafi Is Dead, Libyan Officials Say.

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