He wasn’t exactly fired — more like handed his hat and helped out the door. But Bill Daley’s days as White House chief of staff were numbered when many of his duties were handed off to his deputy Pete Rouse a couple of months ago. The unofficial line from the White House at the time was that Daley was not adept at day to day management and was more of a “big picture” guy.
Whatever the cause, he departure is being welcomed broadly on the hard left who despised Daley’s connection to the corrupt Chicago Daley family as well as his close ties to Wall Street and large corporations.
Daley had previously vowed to stay on at the White House through the 2012 election. In in an interview with NBC Chicago in October, Daley had he “made a commitment to the president through his reelection, which I’m confident he will do, and then my wife and I will return to Chicago.
Daley will serve as co-chairman of Obama’s reelection campaign after he leaves the White House, sources confirmed to The Hill.
The president credited Daley with “extraordinary” work during one of the “most consequential” years of his presidency, including the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, the troop withdrawal from Iraq and the passage of trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia.
The president said he consulted Daley about his replacement as chief of staff and found there was “one clear choice” in Lew.
“[I have] every confidence that Jack will make sure we don’t miss a beat and continue to do everything he can to secure our economy, help the middle class and keep America safe,” Obama said.
Lew is known for his quiet competence and loyalty to the administration. In other words, unlike Daley, he’ll do the job and not make waves.
The move concentrates more decision making power among Obama’s small inner circle. If anything, there will be greater emphasis on political considerations when making foreign and domestic policy than before. Daley helped run Al Gore’s unsuccessful 2000 presidential campaign but brings with him a wealth of business and Wall Street contacts who will almost certainly be tapped to fill the campaign coffers for Obama’s re-election effort.