William Daley: Obama signals shift to center with pick for chief of staff
Obama brings aboard William Daley, a moderate Democrat and fellow Chicagoan, as his new chief of staff. Daley, seen as a tough but fair manager, could help White House ties to the business community.
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“The White House recognizes that the way out of our economic situation is to get the $2 trillion on corporate balance sheets into the economy,” says Bennett. “One of the reasons he selected Daley, among many, is he will be able to reach out to the corporate community, find out what they need or expect from the president that will help, and make that happen.”Skip to next paragraph
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Liberal activists reacted with disdain to the news of Daley’s appointment.
“With Wall Street reporting record profits while middle-class Americans continue to struggle in a deep recession, the announcement that William Daley, who has close ties to the big banks and big business, will now lead the White House staff is troubling and sends the wrong message to the American people,” said Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org, in a statement.
But at least one high-profile progressive is enthusiastic. On Wednesday, speaking at a Monitor breakfast, former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean called Daley’s expected appointment a “huge plus,” in part because Daley is an outsider and “sees things the way people outside of Washington do.”
Dean also expects a change from the contemptuous way in which he felt some White House officials treated progressives. Even though Dean disagrees with Daley a lot politically, he said, “I do think, A, he is a grown-up and B, he gets that you don’t treat people like you know everything and they don’t.”
Obama is expected to make another key appointment to his White House team on Friday, the replacement for Larry Summers as head of the National Economic Council. It is widely rumored that Gene Sperling, an adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, will get the job. Like Daley, he is also a Clinton administration alumnus.
These moves follow the announcement Wednesday that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs will be leaving the podium in early February. Obama reportedly wanted input from his new chief of staff on who should replace Mr. Gibbs, and now that Daley is named, the deliberations can begin in earnest. Names being mentioned include some currently working inside the Obama White House and some outsiders.