Obama Eyes JPMorgan Exec for Chief of Staff

This article is from the archive of our partner .

President Obama has reached out to William Daley, a JPMorgan Chase executive and former Clinton commerce secretary, about the prospect of succeeding Rahm Emanual as his chief of staff, The New York Times reports, building on a scoop by Bloomberg. Daley, who hails from Chicago political dynasty that produced longtime mayor Richard J. Daley and retiring mayor Richard M. Daley, has a strong relationship with the business community--attractive for an administration that has gone to great lengths in recent months to prove that it is business-friendly. 

Yet, after advising Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign and transition, Daley has occasionally voiced opposition to White House policies, urging the Democratic Party to "plot a more moderate, centrist course" in a 2009 Washington Post op-ed and telling the Times last year that the president and Democrats in Congress "miscalculated on health care."

Is appointing Daley a good move for Obama?

  • Daley Helps Relations Between White House and Corporate America, states Marc Ambinder at National Journal: "A Democrat who has been briefed by the White House said that Obama believes that he will exercise his power most effectively during the second half of his first term by building better relationships with American businesses, and concedes that few of his advisers currently draw respect from that community."
  • It's Controversial, Especially on the Left, note Glenn Thrush and Carol E. Lee at Politico, outlining some of the reasons: "Daley is Midwest chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase, a bank that accepted $25 billion in TARP funds--albeit reluctantly. He currently serves on the board of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co, and was a major architect of the still-controversial North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s."
  • A Clintonian Move to Center In Period of Divided Government?, wonders Jonathan Weisman at The Wall Street Journal. Daley's appointment would increase the number of officials from the Clinton administration at the White House as Obama's presidency enters a new phase "likely to be marked by clashes with resurgent Republicans, as was Mr. Clinton's time in office" and likely to require "a level of bipartisanship never achieved in the Obama administration" to realize legislative achievements.
  • Daley Has Little Experience With Congress, charges mistermix at Balloon Juice, and "wrestling with Congress is going to be the main job of most of the White House apparatus."
  • Obama Is So Parochial, sighs Allahpundit at Hot Air:

Do you really think The One's political universe is so small and incestuous that he couldn't find someone outside his tiny circle of Chitown cronies and strongmen to serve as the second most powerful man in the White House? This is the president of the United States we’re talking about. He could recruit anyone he wants for the job, from any field in the western world.

So naturally--allegedly--he went and recruited … Richard Daley's brother. 

  • Daley Might Be Appointed to Another Post, cautions Noam Scheiber at The New Republic. Offering Daley an advisory role might make more sense than appointing him chief of staff, he contends: The left "would clearly recoil at seeing a major bank executive run the White House, but probably wouldn't have a problem with someone like Daley representing the business view to the president."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.