Obama narrows Chief of Staff choice

Posted: 7:00 PM EST Jan 11, 2013   Updated: 11:03 PM EST Jan 11, 2013

For the fifth time President Obama must choose the aid who will be the Oval Office gatekeeper. The latest "man behind the throne" Jack Lew has been tapped to be the next Treasury secretary. Advisors say the President has narrowed his list of candidates down to two for a new Chief of Staff.

The position is one of the administration's most powerful and least understood jobs, and the title Chief of Staff really doesn't convey the reach of the position.

"The Chief of Staff is probably the most important person in the White House after the President," said Political Science Professor at Lafayette College John Kincaid.

He says chiefs under this administration hold a lot of influence. And it's not an easy job to do, it has unique difficulties and pressures and it's very easy to alienate people.

"The Chief of Staff controls the president's schedule, decides who sees the president, oversees all of the staff functions of the White House and also provides policy input for the president."

Kincaid says the average Chief of Staff serves about 2.5 years. The role that person serves changes depending on the state of the country and the man in the Oval Office. But anyone controlling who gets to meet with the president is definitely in an extremely important role.

"The Chief of Staff needs to be an excellent manager and administrator," shared Kincaid. "Have the ability to work with the president and also have the ability to work with all the ego's in the White House and over on Capitol Hill."