Meaning: in charge or active again
Rewrite 1: back to leading the horse to the trough
Rewrite 2: pushing the buttonsn2 again
Rewrite 3: carrying the keys again
Rewrite 4: back to counting beans*
*Reference: See "bean counters"
Comment: The quickest rewrites reminded me of other similar clichés (like “walking the beat again”), so I had to be careful not to fall into the trap of accepting the first things that came to mind. I had to work at it, but I think these all work.
More reading about clichés
What I found when I googled “clichés”:
• Avoid this list of cliché leads in news stories via ACES/cliché leads at copydesk.org.