The Obama administration has confirmed that William Daley is stepping down as White House chief of staff and that budget director Jack Lew will be taking over his position. The Los Angeles Times reports that Daley submitted his letter of resignation to President Barack Obama last Tuesday in a private meeting in which Daley spoke of the administration’s success during his one year holding the position. In a January 3 letter to the President (obtained by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune bureau in Washington), Daley said he had been “honored to be a small part of your administration” and that “It is time for me to go back to the city I love.”
The President had not been expecting Daley’s resignation, says the Los Angeles Times. Aides say that Obama “had faith” in Daley to continue to lead the effort of fighting through tough economic and budget issues, against the GOP-led Congress. While Daley was recruited for his “deal-making skills,” he nonetheless “failed to help his boss strike a huge budget deal with Republicans in the House,” comments the New York Times.
In October, Daley had told a Chicago TV station that he was “looking forward to returning to his hometown but that he would serve the president through the duration of the reelection campaign.” While Daley has remained in charge, Obama shifted day-to-day operational duties to Pete Rouse, an aide who has served as interim chief of staff, in November
At their meeting last Tuesday, Obama asked Daley to take 24 hours to decide what to do. Daley told him on Wednesday that he would resign and suggested Lew as his replacement.
Lew was budget director under President Clinton and deputy director of the Department of State under Hillary Rodham Clinton. The New York Times describes Lew as a “well-regarded veteran of the White House budget office, State Department and Wall Street” who will indeed “be able to forge better ties to Congress.”
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