Photo: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is giving up day-to-day control of the administration’s staff after nearly a year on the job, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s a sign that President Barack Obama’s midterm staff shake-up failed to provide the administration with the boost it needs going into next year’s election.Carol Lee scoops that Pete Rouse, who served as interim Chief of Staff when Rahm Emanuel left Washington to run for mayor in Chicago, will pick up most of Daley’s responsibilities, with Daley — now Chief of Staff in name only — relegated to an “ambassador” role.
Obama had sought Daley’s counsel in a bid to mellow out the White House after Emanuel’s combative tenure and strengthen ties with business, but Daley’s management style has been heavily criticised as confused and ineffective.
Daley insulted congressional Democrats in an interview with POLITICO’s Roger Simon last month — lumping them in with Republicans as the reason why Obama’s agenda has stalled.
Rouse’s organizational skills and relationships on Capitol Hill, by contrast, are widely respected by both parties in Washington.
Daley, a former JP Morgan banker, has pledged to remain at the White House through Obama’s reelection.
More from Carol Lee:
The recalibration of Mr. Daley’s portfolio, agreed to by Mr. Obama, is designed to smooth any kinks in the president’s team as it braces for the overlapping demands of governing while campaigning for re-election, people familiar with the matter said. The West Wing is preparing for budget battles with Congress and is seeking to use its executive powers more extensively.
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. Mr. Rouse served as interim chief of staff before Mr. Daley arrived, and his White House bio boasts he is “known as the ‘101st Senator’ ” for his extensive knowledge of Congress.
The White House has yet to officially acknowledge the changes.
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