Obama Taps Bill Daley As Next White House Chief of Staff

Posted: Jan 06, 2011 12:37 PM
The Chicago Way prevails:

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.

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.

Michelle Malkin exposes the Daley/Obama/Chicago circle of political patronage and backscratching, which she says has transformed our nation's capital into "Chicago on the Potomac."  Take a deep breath and read the whole thing:

No matter how you rearrange President Obama’s inner circle, it still looks, smells and tastes like a rotten Chicago deep-dish pizza.

Ready for the latest topping on this moldy old pie? It’s a possible chief of staff slot for Wall Street banker/lawyer/wheeler-dealer William Daley, brother of outgoing Chicago mayor/machine politics mastermind Richard M. Daley (also the former boss of White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and first lady Michelle Obama), whose retirement paved the way for former Obama chief of staff and Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel. Phew.

The Chicago Tribune's unflagging corruption combatant, John Kass, offers his perspective to the news.  Bottom line: He smells a fetid, coordinated power play:

The Emanuel appointment was the first honest indicator that the Obama White House had a new Washington address:  1600 Chicago Way.

And a Daley appointment will punctuate that. For all the blah-blah-blah about Billy Daley bringing Obama to the center, there’s one thing the analysts forget.

To the Daleys, the political center is Chicago, their ancestral land.  So Billy goes out to Washington to run Barack’s government, and Rahm — the guy Billy’s been supporting for mayor — slides in to run Chicago for Billy’s brother, Mayor Richard Daley.

I asked a Chicago alderman about this when I bumped into him on Tuesday.  “I was talking to my wife about it, and we were saying, is this some kind of plan?” said the alderman. “Rahm runs the city. Billy runs the White House. I mean, really.”

For much, much more on the Chicago Way, and the president's inexorable ties to it, read these two books.