Danny O’Brien, who was just hired as Sen. Bob Menendez’s new chief of staff in May, faces a happy predicament.
O’Brien, a native of southern California with deep political roots in New Jersey, spent three-and-a-half years as Sen. Joe Biden’s chief of staff before moving on to Menendez. Before Biden, he was chief of staff for former Senator Robert Toricelli, and worked on former Gov. Jim McGreevey’s 2001 gubernatorial campaign.
Now, having just started his job with Menendez, it’s easy to see him being recruited to the executive branch if Barack Obama and Joe Biden win the general election. But as of right now, he has no plans to change jobs.
“I have no plans to make any changes right now. I’m lucky to be working for Senator Menendez,” he said.
O’Brien went on to stress that working for Menendez is actually a lot like working for Biden.
“Though they come from two different places and slightly different times, their backgrounds are very similar: Lower-middle-class families,” he said. “They embraced the American Dream, they seized all the opportunities that were given to them, and they are classic American stories.”
O’brien said that his move from Biden to Menendez has helped the two Senators forge a stronger relationship, and to realize just how much the two have in common.
Meanwhile, he’s happy to see his old boss get a national platform akin to the one he enjoys in South Jersey, since Delaware is covered by the same media market.
“Delaware knows it well. People in the early four states got a glimpse of it. But we never had a platform or a megaphone for the rest of the country to see it,” he said. “He’s finally on that rocket ship right now, and it’s a platform that he’s never had.”