The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

You Wonder if He Can Handle the Daley Grind


The first item in the Morning Jolt, now off to the editors and soon to be on its way to your e-mail box . . .

Extra, Extra, Read All About It! You Won’t Believe the Daley News!

It looks like Bloomberg had it first: “President Barack Obama is considering naming William Daley, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive and former U.S. Commerce secretary, to a high-level White House post, possibly as his chief of staff, people familiar with the matter said. Such a move, which is still under discussion and which White House officials wouldn’t confirm, would bring a Washington veteran — and someone with strong business ties — into the administration as Obama enters the second half of his term. The president is faced with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and is trying to accelerate the U.S. economic recovery while addressing the budget deficit. Daley, 62, who typically responds to questions, didn’t return two messages seeking comment left on his cell phone yesterday or a phone call to his office and an e-mail sent to him today. White House officials declined to discuss the matter.”

David Frum was among the first to do the math: “Do I have this straight: a Daley resigns to make room for Rahm, Rahm resigns to make room for another Daley, and nobody thinks this fishy?”

Moe Lane is willing to give Team Obama a smidgen of credit, saluting what he calls the Chicago Way: “OK, let me see if I have this straight: Rahm Emanuel quits being White House Chief of Staff and runs for mayor of Chicago.  The retiring mayor of Chicago is Richard Daley, whose brother William Daley is reportedly being considered for the position of . . . White House Chief of Staff.  Presumably this would be followed with Richard Daley endorsing Emanuel. (pause) Brilliant – in its way.  But why the [expletive deleted] couldn’t they have shown this kind of ingenuity when it came to fixing the unemployment rate?”

Writing at RightPundits, Warner Todd Huston sees trouble ahead on Obama’s left flank: “if Daley takes his place as Obama’s Chief of Staff, this could figure troublesome to Obama’s union supporters since Daley was one of the biggest supporters of the North American Free Trade Agreement passed in 1993. Unions have always opposed this bill and may feel that Obama is putting someone close to him that is anti-union (just as they complained about Rahm Emanuel, also a NAFTA supporter).”

At Politico, Ben Smith suspects the lefties may go bonkers . . . well, more bonkers than usual, in our view: “If the party’s liberal base didn’t like Rahm Emanuel, it will hate Daley. Back in 2009, he was among the first prominent Democrats to call on Obama and his party to tack to the center, in a Washington Post op-ed that infuriated the left: “The Democratic Party — my lifelong political home — has a critical decision to make: Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.” A Daley appointment would be an early signal of Obama’s confidence that the party’s left will ultimately have no choice but to show up and vote for him in 2012.”

Good call, Obama. Because liberal activists never lash out in anger and make decisions that hurt them in the long term in order to get a short-lived emotional thrill. Ask Ned Lamont. Ask Rob Miller and the $1 million he received in donations in a no-hope bid against Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

Tags: Barack Obama , William Daley


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