William Daley resignation signals less conciliatory Barack Obama
OPINION - The departure of White House Chief of Staff William Daley is the latest sign President Obama is likely to take a confrontational approach with congressional Republicans over the next year...
The departure of White House Chief of Staff William Daley is the latest sign President Obama is likely to take a confrontational approach with congressional Republicans over the next year.
Obama, who announced Monday Daley had resigned and Budget Director Jacob Lew would take the helm at the White House, brought in Daley last January as part of a group of changes designed to help the president court both Republicans and business groups who had opposed the president’s policies in his first two years in office. Daley is known as a more centrist Democrat than many of Obama’s advisers and was close to the business community from his time as a vice-chairman at JP Morgan.
But that effort to reduce partisan tensions largely failed over the last year as Republicans have remain sharply opposed to President Obama’s ideas.
And over the last few months, Obama in turn has effectively stopped trying to work with them, proposing a series of job creation ideas last fall that Republicans have long opposed and last week unilaterally appointing Richard Cordray as the new director of a federal consumer watchdog agency despite the protestations of GOP leaders.
Obama, according to the White House officials, was surprised by the decision of Daley, who had previously stated he would remain in government through the end of the year. And there is no evidence he was pushed out.
But the appointment of Lew, known as a more of liberal advocate than Daley, fits in with a White House that increasingly has its eye on winning the November 2012 instead of getting lots of bi-partisan legislation passed before then. Obama’s team has already declared one of the central themes of the re-election campaign will be that the Republican Congress has blocked Obama from accomplishing some of his goals.
Daley fit more with a White House looking to work with than against Republicans in Congress.
Follow Perry Bacon Jr. on Twitter at @perrybaconjr