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The Obamas spent two hours Friday night at a birthday party in Chicago for Mrs. Jarrett at the home of friend Desiree Rogers, a Chicago businesswoman.

Mr. Schiliro, who will head up the White House office of legislative affairs, joined the Obama campaign in the summer to work on legislative issues after working on Capitol Hill for more than 25 years.

Mr. Waxman, the current chairman of the House Government and Oversight Reform Committee, hired Mr. Schiliro in 1982.

Mr. Schiliro has been the man behind Mr. Waxman’s much-feared and often highly publicized investigations over the past several years.

In the 1990s, Mr. Waxman hauled tobacco executives before his subcommittee on health and the environment, and in recent years has probed the exposure of CIA spy Valerie Plame, steroid use in professional baseball, the death of football star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, the disappearance of White House e-mails, and a host of other issues.

Mr. Klain, meanwhile, got his start as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Byron White, and went on to serve as chief counsel to Mr. Biden when the Delaware senator was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Klain presided over the committee’s legal vetting of Supreme Court nominees David H. Souter and Clarence Thomas, both of whom were nominated by President George H.W. Bush.

During President Clinton’s first term, Mr. Klain oversaw federal judicial nominations, including the successful Supreme Court nominations of Stephen G. Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. During the second Clinton term, Mr. Klain served as chief of staff to Mr. Gore.

Mr. Klain in 2000 oversaw the Gore legal effort during the protracted presidential-election recount.

Mr. Biden said Mr. Klain brings to the job “extraordinary judgment, a deep understanding of the important policy issues facing our nation, a wide range of experience in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, as well as a unique understanding of how the vice president’s office works.”