William Daley, who was the secretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and a scion of a storied Chicago political dynasty, will be the next White House chief of staff. President Obama is to announce the choice of Daley this afternoon.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Daley not to cave to Wall Street interests.
- [Daley] offers criteria Obama wants: an outsider’s perspective, credibility with the business community and experience in navigating divided government. Daley also wants the job. At 62, the move will thrust him into the heart of national politics just as Obama adapts to a new reality in Washington, with Republicans controlling the House, working to gut his signature health care law and pushing for major cuts in spending. —from MSNBC.com
The choice of Daley suggests that the Obama administration is seeking to improve its relationship with Wall Street and the business community as a whole:
- That he will now move from the top echelons of the banking industry to such a senior position is a measure of how the White House has abandoned a strategy of publicly pillorying the financial industry in favor of a more conciliatory, business-friendly tone. And it may be an important clue into the president’s thinking about how he will govern in the next two years. -– from Politico.com
As President Bill Clinton’s secretary of commerce, Daley led efforts to enact the historic NAFTA treaty. He also served as chairman of Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000. And, as the son of legendary Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and brother of the city’s current mayor, Richard M. Daley, he is a member of a powerful political dynasty in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.
However, the choice of Daley could cause the Obama administration some ‘awkward moments’ as officials account for Daley’s nomination despite ‘some of their rhetoric about bank executives’: Back in December 2009 on ’60 Minutes,’ Obama spoke about “a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.” Daley was also opposed to the creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is part of the President’s plan for financial regulatory reform. Others are claiming that the ‘Chicago Machine’ is taking over Washington. (Christian Science Monitor)
The position of Chief of Staff is considered the ‘most consuming’ job in the White House; the Chief of Staff will ‘[shape] nearly everything that Obama deals with. (MSNBC.com) Daley has been a senior executive for the past seven years at the US’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase. He replaces Rahm Emanuel, a former Illinois congressman who is now in Chicago preparing to run for mayor. Interim chief of staff Pete Rouse, a longtime friend of President Obama, will become a counselor to the President, the New York Times Caucus blog reports.
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Photo of William Daley and David Boise by Village Square.