After what's been described as either a decision to "expand" his duties or as a series of "missteps" leading to a less hands-on role, White House chief of staff Bill Daley will be handing over some of his management duties to another senior aide, Pete Rouse, The Wall Street Journal first reported. The Journal and Politico, citing their own administration sources, emphasized that the change was due to, as Politico wrote, "his management style and ineffectual relationship with Congress," including reported tensions with his handling of debt ceiling negotiations with both John Boehner and Harry Reid.
Officials who spoke to CNN and The Los Angeles Times appeared to dispute, or at least have a more generous retelling, of the management shakeup. "That's just flat wrong," the official told CNN late Monday of The Journal's story. "Daley is chief of staff. He is not turning over day-to-day management of the White House." CNN, however, does quote the official noting a change that Pete Rouse "will operate something like the chief operations officer of the White House." The Los Angeles Times described the transition as Rouse taking "expanded operational and coordination role." And The New York Times, after speaking with officials, just noted "it was unclear exactly what [Daley's] new role would look like."
Daley has already indicated that he'll be stepping down as chief of staff after next year's election. And The Journal, which broke the story, said that the "new set-up effectively makes Mr. Rouse the president's inside manager and Mr. Daley his ambassador, roles that appear to better suit both men's talents." Interestingly, Politico also notes one instance where White House "communications staffers were infuriated" with his actions--a very blunt recent interview with Politico's Roger Simon where he described Obama's years in office as "a brutal three years" before going on to note that the president faces a very bleak political climate.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.