President Obama named Bill Daley, of the Chicago Daleys, to be his Chief of Staff. Daley, currently serving as a senior VP at JPMorgan Chase, represents a sharp swing to the center for President Obama, and shows the continuing influence of Rahm Emmanuel. Daley is a former Commerce Secretary in the Clinton Administration, and was a key player in securing Democratic votes for NAFTA. While the response from the left has been somewhat muted you can be assured that they are steaming. From Politico:
The statement of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Thursday captured the sense, particularly in labor circles, that there’s no longer any point blaming Obama’s subordinates. Many of Trumka’s constituents loathe Daley for his role shepherding NAFTA in 1993, but the muted statement smacked of resignation, not anger. “The president is of course entitled to choose a chief of staff in whom he has complete confidence,” Trumka said. “We are hopeful that the new chief of staff’s priority is to achieve the strong economy that working people desperately need.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement from Trumka. And Bob Herbert, over at the New York Times, launched a scathing attack on the Obama move to the center.
Scared to death of being outdone, President Obama and his sidekicks climbed into their spiffy new G.O.P. costumes and promised in humiliatingly abject tones to shower the business world with whatever government largess they could lay their hands on. The first order of business (pun intended) was the announcement that William Daley, the Chicago wheeler-dealer and former Clinton administration official who landed a fat gig at JPMorgan Chase, would become the president’s chief of staff. Mr. Daley was a loud critic of recent financial regulatory reforms and has been obsessed with getting Democrats to be more subservient to business.
But over at the Chamber of Commerce, which has been in a shooting war with the White House, the response was much warmer: From Chamber CEO Tom Donoghue:
“This is a strong appointment. We look forward to working with him to accelerate our recovery, grow the economy, create jobs, and tackle America’s global challenges.”
Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had some praise, saying some nice things about the appointment but ridiculing the lack of business experience in the White House prior to the Daley arrival.
“We used to say the last two years, I don’t know whether it’s technically true or not, but there’s nobody down at the White House who’d ever even run a lemonade stand. They’re all college professors, former elected officials. This is a guy who’s actually been out in the private sector, been a part of business. Frankly my first reaction is, it sounds like a good idea.”
From my perch I think it is a good idea as well. Daley brings some heft and reach with the business community, and will give the President an ability to broaden his footprint. Jack Shafer over at Slate probably exaggerates to a large degree, but I do agree with at least a part of what he says about the Daley family.
If the Daley family believes in anything, it believes in getting things done, and because getting things done requires power, they’re born Machiavellians.
They do believe in getting things done, which is becoming a lost art in this country. The system loves inertia, and actually rewards those that promote it. I am not sure about the Machiavellian reference, but I think it fair to say that to get things done the Daley’s have shown a willingness to expend some political capital. That cannot be a bad thing for President Obama.
Read the appropriately titled Politico piece “Bill Daley:The final straw for the left” here.