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From The New York Times:

...three years ago, Mr. Obama closed the longstanding Office of Political Affairs at the White House and sent his operatives to his Chicago campaign office and the Democratic National Committee as he prepared for his re-election campaign.

Now the West Wing is reopening the office and promoting David Simas, a top communications aide, to be its new director. Mr. Simas, a strategist from Mr. Obama’s 2012 campaign, most recently served as one of the officials in charge of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.


...with Mr. Obama in his second term and crucial midterm elections ahead, the White House seems eager to send a new message: that it is serious about defending Democratic control of the Senate and taking back the House from Republicans. White House officials said it makes more sense to have a political office during a congressional election year to focus attention on candidate needs, including fund-raising.

(My bold)

According to The Washington Post, every President since Reagan has had a Political Affairs Office, though it has gained a controversial reputation since Karl Rove may have used it to engage in political dark arts:

I'm thrilled the White House is reopening this War Room of sorts - we Dems seriously need to take back the House this year. And as I think Markos once said, "when you're fighting pigs, you have to be willing to get down in the mud."

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