John Sweeney, head of the AFL/CIO, is stepping down shortly, but don't expect him to retire and fade away.

Word is that Sweeney will be getting a big job in the Obama administration. The president owes him big for his staunch support of the Obama candidacy during the election campaign.

Sweeney, the son of an Irish immigrant bus driver raised in the Bronx, rose to become America’s most powerful union boss and now stands to become a major player in the Obama administration.

The low key Sweeney has always been very conscious of his Irish heritage and has made frequent trips there. Indeed, he was talked about as a possible ambassador there but decided not to go for it. The new job will be interesting to see.