The only names being seriously considered to replace Emanuel are three men who are already on Obama’s team, according to officials: Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon; Ron Klain, an aide to Vice President Joe Biden, and Obama senior adviser Pete Rouse, who might be called upon to temporarily replace Emanuel until a permanent replacement is found.

The outsiders being mentioned include former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, one-time Clinton chief of staff John Podesta – who has said repeatedly he doesn’t want the job – and CIA Director Leon Panetta.

Panetta, a former congressman who also served as a Clinton chief of staff, is reportedly the favorite pick of some Democrats on Capitol Hill, who say he’d be best equipped to deal with a newly empowered Hill GOP…

These two models – a “super-staffer” in the mold of Donilon or Klain, or a “surrogate” in the mold of Daschle or Panetta – both have been debated inside the West Wing, with Obama insiders now expecting a pick in the super-staffer mold. The reason, in part, is because some of the more bold-faced names already in the administration, such as economic adviser Larry Summers and National Security Adviser James Jones, haven’t always worked out.