Obama’s choice of Bill Daley means big political changes ahead

Big changes are in store. Mr. Daley is unlikely to constantly outsource the drafting of legislation to Congress. He’ll also end the West Wing’s habit of only talking to Democrats and instead speak often with senior congressional Republicans. During the president’s first two years in office, GOP leaders were more objects of contempt than conversation…

It’s also hard to believe that class warfare will make it into the president’s speeches now that draft remarks have to pass through Mr. Daley’s hands. The days of portraying successful business people as leeches and robber barons are hopefully at an end…

Perhaps the most intriguing question is how much Mr. Daley’s centrist credentials will influence the course of the Obama presidency. Mr. Daley, after all, helped Mr. Clinton pass the North American Free Trade Agreement, told the New York Times that Mr. Obama “miscalculated on health care,” and opposed the administration’s financial-regulation bill. All this angers—not enthuses—union bosses, liberal activists and left-wing bloggers.

It’s doubtful that Mr. Obama really shares Mr. Daley’s centrist impulses. Over his political career, Mr. Obama has proved himself to be both very liberal and highly partisan. But he is also up for re-election in 2012. He understands he must regain the support of independents who voted for GOP congressional candidates last November by 59% to 38%.