Is Bill Daley the ultimate heartbreaker for the Left?

posted at 3:00 pm on January 8, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

For most observers, the selection of William Daley makes a lot of sense for Barack Obama, both on the surface as well as in the curious Chicago-influence exchange vibe from Rahm Emanuel’s candidacy for the job held now by Daley’s brother Richard.  For those on the Left, though, the choice forces those convinced that a poor choice of advisers have kept President Obama from fighting for their radical progressive agenda to acknowledge that Obama himself is not the man they thought they’d elected, as Ben Smith reports for Politico:

The appointment of Bill Daley to the top staff job in the Obama White House has dealt the final blow to a dearly held fantasy of parts of the left: that a truly liberal president has been ill-served and misinterpreted by Rahm Emanuel and other center-right aides.

The sounds of hearts finally breaking come from key quadrants of the Democratic Party – labor, ethnic groups and the gay community – who had tried to convince themselves for two years that President Barack Obama was still the liberal crusader they had come to believe he was during the 2008 campaign; it was just that his West Wing staff wouldn’t let Obama be Obama.

With the ascension of a renowned centrist and Clinton administration veteran to the post as White House chief of staff, the left now finally acknowledges that Obama’s decisions are actually being made by Obama – and they seem to veer perilously toward the center time and time again.

“First, when progressives were disappointed they blamed it on Rahm. Then (interim chief of staff Pete) Rouse came in and they had the same problems,” said one senior labor official. “It’s going to be the same thing with Daley, but folks don’t see the point in trashing him, because it’s going to be the same pattern [of] decisions from the top.”

Disillusionment can be the most potent force in politics.  Just ask the Democrats in Congress.  They ran in 2006 as fiscal moderates and deficit hawks, then ran up annual federal spending by almost 40% in three budget cycles.  The independents who believed their campaign rhetoric turned out in force to send them to the back benches in 2010.

Progressives have a bigger problem with Obama than independents did with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, though.  They championed Obama and John Edwards before him as transformational leaders whose ability to lead the nation into a liberal Nirvana eclipsed their executive inexperience and utter lack of accomplishments.   Without Obama having neither the ability nor the inclination to champion the far Left any longer, and with the “transformational” nature of his presence exposed as a bad joke, exactly what did Obama’s election produce, except the utterly predictable failures of putting an inexperienced and unprepared politician in way over his head?  And what does that do to the Left’s credibility in the Democratic coalition in the future?


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“center-right aides” if you consider Clinton far-right, that is.

G. Charles on January 8, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I liked him in I Dream of Jeannie and The Bob Newhart Show.

Oops, that’s Bill Daily.

zmdavid on January 8, 2011 at 3:07 PM

to a dearly held fantasy of parts of the left

ruh roh. Utopia—not this year, nor next lefties….

aw.

ted c on January 8, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Just remember if this loser would happen to be elected in’12 he can just as easily turn back into Lenin in a heart beat. We must work harder than ever to win in’12.

Herb on January 8, 2011 at 3:17 PM

The liberals are bats**t insane. Obama gave them Obamacare, repealed DADT, forced the Stimulus down our throats, Kagan and Sotomayor, federal funding for overseas abortions, and tried to get cap an trade, disclose, card check and the closing of gitmo.

He’s also trying to surpass the legilature through regulatory means by having the EPA regulate carbon emissions and the FCC push net neutrality.

Give me a break liberals, this guy is left wing as all hell, but this country is NOT. Yes he is an incompetent leader, but he was also your messiah you forced on us! Damn liberals are a bunch crazed spoiled brats.

Daemonocracy on January 8, 2011 at 3:22 PM

the ultimake heartbreaker

Wuh? Some correction is needed.

Ryan Anthony on January 8, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Oh, and Politico couldn’t be anymore transparent. This nothing but a stealth puff piece on Obama, trying to paint him as a centrist, hoping he will get re-elected in 2012. He is still a diehard liberal, never has he ever been a centrist.

Daemonocracy on January 8, 2011 at 3:24 PM

by Rahm Emanuel and other center-right aides.

My browser filters somehow missed this crapola.

mankai on January 8, 2011 at 3:27 PM

the ultimake heartbreaker

Wuh? Some correction is needed.

Ryan Anthony on January 8, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Apparently my browser’s spellchecker is not functional today. Thanks!

Ed Morrissey on January 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Cool! Let’s hope they primary Obama from the Left!

Split the party! Split the party! Split the party!

John the Libertarian on January 8, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Herb,

At the very least, we need to make sure both houses of Congress are safely in Republican hands.

Chances are, this “loser” Obama (who is our electable rising star?)will still be elected in ’12. If we can’t capture the presidency, we need to make sure we emasculate Obama (maybe not, he’s already pretty girly) as he will run so far left in ’12 that most of us will get whiplash.

marybel on January 8, 2011 at 3:29 PM

” …… it was just that his West Wing staff wouldn’t let Obama be Obama.”

Yeh, they certainly tied his hands on that Obamacare bill. The biggest and most devastating lefty legislation ever passed.

And who was that elitist sophmoric blabbermouth they sent out to all those town hall meetings, if it wasn’t Obama being Obama?

fogw on January 8, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Obama makes the decisions his puppetmasters tell him to make. They’re commies and socialists, but they knew when and how to dupe voters to get their man elected.

erp on January 8, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Ed Morrissey on January 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Curiously, the misspelling makes more sense…? Could it be another refudiate moment?

John the Libertarian on January 8, 2011 at 3:30 PM

the left now finally acknowledges that Obama’s decisions are actually being made by Obama – and they seem to veer perilously toward the center time and time again.

No, they don’t veer toward the center at any time. They simply don’t veer as far to the left as some would like. But they are always solidly and radically left.

holygoat on January 8, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Obama is at no risk because the alternatives are viewed even worse. With the MSM still fawning over him Obama has nothing to worry about.

patrick neid on January 8, 2011 at 3:44 PM

“Try the UltiMake, the ultimate milkshake blender, made for use in your vehicle’s cup holder!”

leftnomore on January 8, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Ed – just FYI, delete this post if you want:

…a poor choice of advisers HAVE…

should be

…a poor choice of advisers HAS…

You’re respectable now, gotta grammaticize like it ;)

greggriffith on January 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Obama’s clear strategy is to appear mainstream but open doors that will lead inevitably to greater government control of our lives: FCC regulating internet “for our protection”, Obamacare, regulation of CO2.

pedestrian on January 8, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Some things never change…Rahmbo II: The Sequel.

kingsjester on January 8, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Disillusionment can be the most potent force in politics.

What? That the idiots have FINALLY discovered that they’ve worshiped a false idol? An empty suit? An opportunistic political hack who has NEVER accomplished anything on his own?

GarandFan on January 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Dance of the Wooden Lobbyists while Berkeley twists in the wind.

Life is So Grand!!

Shivas Irons on January 8, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Awesome.

OmahaConservative on January 8, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Obama puts a machine man in as chief of staff… he would be better off with a real robot as it would be less likely to work to its own ends.

ajacksonian on January 8, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Hey liberals, the guy you want is dead. Mao, Lenin etc…

Vince on January 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM

This is all just smoke and mirrors. Somone (Krauthammer?) said recently, Obama is just changing his tactics, not his ideology. Watch what the other hand is doing. We have to keep on keepin’ on to make sure he is not re-elected, because then all bets will be off!

4Freedom on January 8, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Daley’s there to get Obama back in the good graces of big business and get the Wall Street money flowing again for 2012.

JEM on January 8, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Rahm Emanuel and other center-right aides.

Center-right of whom, Castro?

Kjeil on January 8, 2011 at 10:33 PM

the left now finally acknowledges that Obama’s decisions are actually being made by Obama – and they seem to veer perilously toward the center reality time and time again.

The real world is very different than a presidential campaign.

iurockhead on January 9, 2011 at 1:55 AM

I’m sure that from a partisan viewpoint, it feels good for Ed to imagine that Bill Daley is hated by the left and is an admission by O’Bonehead that he needs to come to the center in order to win re-election.

Ed and Medved and the RINO Nation all said the same thing about Rahm Emanuel. He was supposed to be smart and mean and a centrist who hates fringe lefties and blah, blah, blah. $4 Trillion later, with socialist policies dominating Emanuel’s time in Washington we are supposed to believe that O’Bonehead is really moving to the center this time.

Nonsense. Daley is a tool and a partisan, liberal Democrat, and nothing more. You RINOs nuance yourselves into submission … I’ll be waiting for you over here on the right.

Jaibones on January 10, 2011 at 12:30 AM