Less is more for Biden's chief of staff

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2011 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden's Chief of Staff Bruce Reed has lunch with President Barack Obama in Washington. Friends and colleagues of Reed call him understated, self-effacing, non-threatening, even refreshingly old-fashioned. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Friends and colleagues of Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Bruce Reed, call him understated, self-effacing, nonthreatening, even refreshingly old-fashioned.

Don't be fooled by the cool descriptors. Reed plays Mr. Fix-It, guiding Joe Biden's role as a driving force behind the Obama administration's agenda.

With the White House wrestling Congress over gun control and tax-and-spending priorities, Reed's deep ties to the Oval Office and reputation for getting along with both parties make him a central character in some of Washington's biggest political battles.

Those who know Reed say his low-key style and consensus-oriented approach to deal-making are the keys to how he's managed time and again to bridge an ever-widening gap between Democrats and Republicans.