Shocker: William Daley not exactly rescuing Obama presidency

posted at 1:25 pm on September 16, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Dave Weigel tweeted, “Remember how Chief of Staff Bill Daley was going to save Obama and get credibility with businesses?”  Today, Politico catches up with the brother of the former Mayor of Chicago to see how well he has accomplished that mission.  The verdict?  Daley has managed to accomplish the impossible … he’s made people at the White House miss Rahm Emanuel:

The 63-year-old scion of Chicago political royalty was brought in as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff to provide fresh blood, corporate-world experience and adult supervision to a young, free-wheeling White House staff. But critics inside and outside the West Wing are questioning whether he is the tough, competent manager needed to shake up the operation and propel Obama into the 2012 election year. …

Interviews with two dozen current and former White House staffers and congressional aides paint the picture of Daley as a steady, seasoned political operative struggling to find his footing in one of the most hostile environments anyone in his job has ever had to face.

“Is there a level of unhappiness with Bill around the White House? Yeah,” said a person close to Obama who spoke on condition of anonymity, like almost all other insiders interviewed for this story.

“You do what you have to do to streamline the organization, cutting meetings from 20 people to five. But a lot of people are pissed,” the person added. “You can’t replicate Rahm, he was a once-in-a-lifetime guy, for good and bad. Daley is much more of an executive and former member of the cabinet. … When it comes to dealing with the Hill, well, they just don’t know Bill.”

For one thing, aides told Politico, Rahm would have known better than to try to buffalo John Boehner into pre-empting a Republican presidential debate with a joint-session speech.  But it goes farther than that.  Had Rahm still been in the White House, he would have coordinated better with Harry Reid on the jobs-bill rollout.  Obama ended up with egg on his face when Reid told the press that he wouldn’t schedule the American Jobs Act for floor time right away, a sure sign that he doesn’t have the votes to pass it.  Obama had all summer — heck, he had two years — to coordinate a jobs bill with the leader of the chamber of Congress his own party controls.  A fumble like that is just plain legislative-coordination incompetence.

And that’s a bit ironic, considering the connection both Daley and Obama have to the Chicago Machine.  Daley’s family didn’t control Chicago politics for decades out of incompetence.  And yet, with the White House clearly being run the Chicago Way, the administration is not just publicly stumbling but people are talking about it to the press as well.  Daley has alienated the staff, according to Politico’s report, and angered Democrats on Capitol Hill.  Daley has cut down on access to Obama — probably at Obama’s request — which has limited his range of opinions and resulted in even more of an echo chamber.

That comes as no surprise, either.  With an opportunity to rebound in a national address to a joint session of Congress by changing directions and offering something new in economic policy, Obama instead regurgitated a smaller version of the failed 2009 stimulus bill.  He’s also now reversed himself on Social Security reform, taking his previously-agreed cuts and changes off the table in his upcoming deficit reduction package despite talking about the need to fix entitlement programs.  For an administration that had already been seen as weak and vacillating, Obama’s actions in the past several weeks have amplified those impressions into a full-blown crisis of confidence in his ability to lead — among Democrats.

By any measure, the Daley era has been a tremendous flop, but considering the product Daley came to sell, it was almost certainly Mission:Impossible anyway.

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The buck stops over there.

Ted Torgerson on September 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Chicago Thuggery doesn’t play well on a national scale. The amount of Money to buy off the different segments of Chicago and trying to buy out a whole nation are HUGE.

Send Obama back to Chicago where his schtick works.

portlandon on September 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Okay, got it – William Daley is going to be the go-to fall guy.

Bill; meet the underside of the Obama-blame-bus.

Like all of corruption issues of the Downgrade Administration started with him – sure thing.

Chip on September 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Who’d a thunk?

cartooner on September 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

The buck stops over there.

Ted Torgerson on September 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Or… “The buck stops near.”

Scott P on September 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Obama is becoming toxic to the Democratic Party. My guess is that a lot of Democrats running for Congress are not going to want to appear on the same stage with him. They will be inventing scheduling conflicts in order to avoid him.

SC.Charlie on September 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

I’m betting Rahm left, and the appearance of failure on Daley’s job performance have more to do with Valerie, than anyone wants to admit.

It’s already been said that the Obama’s don’t make a move without her. Daley, or Rahm give their input, they ask Valerie, and she thumbs up or thumbs down, then throws her opinion in, as to what needs to be done, and they do it.

She’s the failure. I’m certain of that.

capejasmine on September 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Axlerod, Plouffe and Jarrett still are the real Chicago controlling interests in this White House. Daley may be part of the Chicago machine, but he was not brought in to be in charge of the others, but to do the grunt work in Washington none of the others (including the president) want to do and to try and convince the business community that the Obama White House was now more friendly to them than it was under Rahm.

Emanuel butted heads with the ideologues as well during his time in the White House — Rahm’s a hot-head, but he did have Clinton administration experience of at least knowing when to hold ‘em and knowing when to fold ‘em. The two Davids and Valerie are still so sure of their campaign acumen that they think they can still repackage their boss in his 2008 outfit, and if not just destroy whomever the Republicans nominate, Alinsky-style, to win re-election. But they do recognize the core special interest groups are getting angry and a sacrifice must be made, so Daley’s going to be the Windy City native dumped under the CTA bus.

jon1979 on September 16, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Mission:Impossible

This party will self-destruct in 14 months

phreshone on September 16, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Obama is becoming toxic to the Democratic Party. My guess is that a lot of Democrats running for Congress are not going to want to appear on the same stage with him. They will be inventing scheduling conflicts in order to avoid him.

SC.Charlie on September 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

..this is kind of old news but — unlike 2010 — Obama needs to get out and campaign for himself. It *will* be embarrassing to see him make almost exclusively solo appearances in places like Ohio, Florida, Nebraska, etc.

Betcha there is a collective sigh of relief from the Dems on 7 November 2012 when this turd has been flushed down the drain. At least they’re back to square one (or so they will think).

The War Planner on September 16, 2011 at 1:41 PM

but considering the product Daley came to sell, it was almost certainly Mission:Impossible anyway.

Nobody could sell the Edsel.

Lanceman on September 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

“…— among Democrats.”

I don’t know what the Democrats are whining about…

… they got everything that they ever wanted.

The fact that now it is disagreeing with their palate and the stink won’t go away…

… they have no one else but themselves to blame.

Seven Percent Solution on September 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Valerie Jarret is still running the show, though, right? So what chance did the Chicago thug have?

dogsoldier on September 16, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Obama is becoming toxic to the Democratic Party. My guess is that a lot of Democrats running for Congress are not going to want to appear on the same stage with him. They will be inventing scheduling conflicts in order to avoid him.

SC.Charlie on September 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

You are correct, but the dems are basically toast. The dem in NY did his best to “distance” himself from the man of Fail, but Zero is so radioactive, he’s going to single handedly bring down the entire dem party.

dogsoldier on September 16, 2011 at 1:46 PM

to a young, free-wheeling White House staff

Or in other words: A gaggle of insular douchebags who don’t know jack about shiite.

Bishop on September 16, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I kinda like the idea of Daley giving Obama the shocker for some reason.

lorien1973 on September 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Tru dat Dogsoldier @1:44

cmsinaz on September 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Interviews with two dozen current and former White House staffers and congressional aides paint the picture of Daley as a steady, seasoned political operative struggling to find his footing in one of the most hostile environments anyone in his job has ever had to face.

Why the hostile environment? Why is this administration the most hostile environment any Chief of Staff has had to deal with? Are the animal spirits of very large egos fighting each other? Is it because Daley is a greedy business man, a banker, and the administration is filled with radical activists anti-capitalists? Has Obama surrounded himself with like minded people who all have an anti-american chip on their shoulder? Is Daley, a white democrat, one of those old throw back neanderthal racists from centuries past?

Or is it just the simple fact that they are loosing?

Skandia Recluse on September 16, 2011 at 1:49 PM

The failures this article mention seem like all Obama and zero Daley.

AnotherOpinion on September 16, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Remember how Chief of Staff Bill Daley was going to save Obama and get credibility with businesses?

Remember how VP Joe Biden was going to give Obama credibility on foreign policy?

ted c on September 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM

incompetence

That’s been the hallmark of this administration.

GarandFan on September 16, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Time to bring back the “A-Team”:
Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers.

albill on September 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM

You mean to say that Bill Daley can’t bring in the LOVE?!!!!

pilamaye on September 16, 2011 at 1:58 PM

The buck stops over there.

Ted Torgerson on September 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Or… “The buck stops near.”

Scott P on September 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

As I have always said, and let me be perfectly clear, I inherited this buck. There was no way of knowing this buck was as bad as it turned out to be. Therefore, I have no option but to call on Congress to Pass This Buck NOW!

Lily on September 16, 2011 at 1:58 PM

What? Are the Chicago cemeteries changing their votes?

viking01 on September 16, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Because Rahm was doing such a bang up job himself. s/

Carville told him to go Roman on his staff, looks like Daley may be the first victim of the decimation.

jnelchef on September 16, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I’m almost starting to feel bad for the guy……nawwwwww just kidding

Cosmop on September 16, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Or in other words: A gaggle of insular douchebags who don’t know jack about shiite.

Bishop on September 16, 2011 at 1:47 PM

ROFL!!!

Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel. LOL It’s not good to hold it in!

capejasmine on September 16, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Daley has cut down on access to Obama — probably at Obama’s request — which has limited his range of opinions and resulted in even more of an echo chamber.

Now that is very Nixonian.

I’ve thought for a while that Rahm was the only guy in the WH with experience in D.C. He knew the ropes. Chicago machine politics won’t work at a national level–there are too many Dems they can’t control.

Obama was elected in 2004 to the Senate and has zilch understanding of D.C. politics–he was barely a senator when he started campaigning.

I think Rahm saw the implosion coming and wanted to get out.

INC on September 16, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Two problems here,

1) awwww they miss the Rahminator, the guy they ignored for 2 years. I agree with the insider, Rahm knows how to play power politics to win and knows it well. But he was ignored since that requires compromises to ideological purity. They drove him out so too bad.

2) Daley can only do so much with what he has to work with. I susppect he would a better fit for managing the more competent Clinton team than the bunch of children Obama surrounds himself with.

jarodea on September 16, 2011 at 2:05 PM

The Chief of Staff can only be as good as the President he works for. Not that I have any great love for Daley, but the problem is Obama and not Daley.

jwolf on September 16, 2011 at 2:05 PM

This sounds like Valerie Jarrett set this up to take down Bill Daley…he has become a problem for her.

d1carter on September 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Valerie Jarret using Politico to stick a knife into Daley’s back.

Blue-on-blue Chicago thuggery – delicious.

Rebar on September 16, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Valerie Jarret using Politico to stick a knife into Daley’s back.

Blue-on-blue Chicago thuggery – delicious.

Rebar on September 16, 2011 at 2:11 PM

this^^^^

IowaWoman on September 16, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Daley has cut down on access to Obama — probably at Obama’s request

Well, sure. He’s probably the one who recognized that it’s bad optics for Obama to take 15 minute meetings wearing shorts and flipflops, with sports playing on the big screen, and tabloids spread out on his ottoman.

RushBaby on September 16, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Yessiree Bob! That 63 year old ‘new blood’ is a real winner…

And if you try to get rid of him then you are on Chief of Staff #3, which doesn’t look good for that ‘Executive Competence’ part of being President.

So expect Daley to be around to the bitter end of the term… and that will be the end of this President.

Rahm not only got out while the getting was good, but saddled Obama with someone who wasn’t a DC level star or player or even had the right rolodex for DC. Good job, Rahm! Didn’t know you hated Obama that much. Oh, and good going on the cronyism to get your new position, too… shafts all the way around.

I would suggest you CCW, Rahm old-boy, but you are in Chitown in the People’s Republic of Illinois, so you may be outta luck there, unless you really want to tee off everyone in the black community who wants more liberal gun laws. Including the liberals. You can’t win for losing no matter how good you are, Rahm. You shoulda really quit and gotten a job with Solyndra… or LightSquared… or Soros. He hasn’t gotten rid of enough cash, yet.

ajacksonian on September 16, 2011 at 2:31 PM

This sounds like Valerie Jarrett set this up to take down Bill Daley…he has become a problem for her.

d1carter on September 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Interesting. And yet, put that thought in perspective by remembering what a know-nothing bag-of-mashed-up-race-victimhood Valerie Jarrett is. Despite coming from a family of extraordinarily accomplished and groundbreaking Americans, she worked for two years in two law firms after Stanford and U of Chicago, and then went into the Patronage world of Chicago politics.

Since that moment she has been given every single thing she has ever had. This is the Obamanite nitwit who praised the wondrous skills and vision of Van Jones. No wonder she doesn’t think much of Bill Daley.

Jaibones on September 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Daley’s family didn’t control Chicago politics for decades out of incompetence.

No, but what they were competent at was extortion, bribery, favoritism, cronyism, nepotism, corruption and all seven deadly sins.

Fallon on September 16, 2011 at 2:48 PM

That Valerie Jarrett is Obama’s oracle is a measure of the man.

Jarrett is clever like a snake, but not smaht or wise. She doesn’t see, IMO, much past what her cut of the action is, and Obama and she fit very well that way.

Look at the jobs bill…union payoff and more taxation. Taxes not collected via payroll come from elsewhere. Municipal worker unions can keep their wages and headcount up, which keeps dues up, which keeps Democrat campaign money flowing. And a few other little bits for trial lawyers…Finally, Democrats get their wet dream to start taxing employee health benefits as income. Payoffs all through the damn thing.

Good on Daley, isolate the boss just like he wants. More and more failure to add to the pile.

Harry Schell on September 16, 2011 at 2:52 PM

As I have always said, and let me be perfectly clear, I inherited this buck. There was no way of knowing this buck was as bad as it turned out to be. Therefore, I have no option but to call on Congress to Pass This Buck NOW!

Lily on September 16, 2011 at 1:58 PM

ROFL!

Mary in LA on September 16, 2011 at 2:56 PM

It’s all Bush’s fault.

Old Fritz on September 16, 2011 at 3:15 PM

You can’t sell shiite, even with Shinola.

Dhuka on September 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

They are like Cargo-cult members trying to run Fedex.

drunyan8315 on September 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Enjoy my video on ValJar and Barack’s devotion to each other or more her’s towards him. He’s more devoted to himself, of course.

She’s his mommy and he’s her son/love. Looking at these pictures is quite revealing. She goes everywhere he goes including all the vacays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2tku-MxGkc

No Niks on September 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

She’s his mommy and he’s her son/love.

O_o

She goes everywhere he goes including all the vacays.

No Niks on September 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Was she up at the Vineyard this last time?

Hmm. Wonder how she looks on a bicycle…

Mary in LA on September 16, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Skandia Recluse on September 16, 2011 at 1:49 PM

all of the above.

YehuditTX on September 16, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Personally, I hope Obama stays with his program clear through the rest of the 2012 fund raising season….just to make sure as much Democrat money as possible is wasted!

landlines on September 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM