WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hiring William Daley to be his chief of staff, choosing a veteran political manager with Wall Street ties to direct an operation now steaming toward re-election mode.
Daley will step into one of the most important and influential jobs in American government as an adviser and gatekeeper to Obama. He will replace Pete Rouse, the interim chief of the last three months, a behind-the-scenes Obama adviser who did not want the position permanently and recommended Daley for it.
Rouse will remain as a counselor to the president, an elevated position from his former job as senior adviser.
Two senior administration officials confirmed Obama’s decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it has not been announced.
Obama is expected to introduce Daley later Thursday at the White House.
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Although Daley carries the name of a dynastic family of politics in Chicago, which is Obama’s hometown, he and the president have not been personally close. He 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 repeal his signature health care law and pushing for major cuts in spending.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.