President Obama Picks Bill Daley as his New Chief of Staff

Jan 6, 2011 11:59am

President Obama at 2:30 pm EST today will announce his new chief of staff: former Clinton Commerce Secretary Bill Daley.

The interim chief of staff, Pete Rouse, will serve as “counselor to the president,” a promotion from his former role.

The seventh and youngest child of the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, Daley may be best known by the public for not-conceding on election night as the campaign chair for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.

But there’s obviously much more that Daley represents. Daley – until now an executive at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co — brings business ties to the job, ones critics say have been sorely lacking in this White House.

It’s also likely not a coincidence that Daley becomes chief of staff as a new Republican majority has assumed control of the House.

In a December 2009 op-ed for the Washington Post, Daley wrote that top Democrats need to “acknowledge that the agenda of the party's most liberal supporters has not won the support of a majority of Americans — and, based on that recognition, to steer a more moderate course on the key issues of the day, from health care to the economy to the environment to Afghanistan.”

“The leaders of the Democratic Party need to move back toward the center — and in doing so, set the stage for the many years' worth of leadership necessary to produce the sort of pragmatic change the American people actually want,” Daley wrote.

This pick is not being met with applause from liberal groups.
"This was a real mistake by the White House. Bill Daley consistently urges the Democratic Party to pursue a corporate agenda that alienates both Independent and Democratic voters,” said Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee at BoldProgressives.org, which has 675,000 members. “If President Obama listens to that kind of political advice from Bill Daley, Democrats will suffer a disastrous 2012."

-Jake Tapper

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