James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Bill Daley as Obama’s new chief of staff?

January 4, 2011

That is the buzz. But it is more than just buzz. My sources tell me that serious conversations are being had, though it is not a done deal. Certainly the business folks I have chatted with would be delighted. Forget about Valerie Jarret. When a top CEO had an issue, he or she would be calling Bill Daley from now on, not Jarrett. Daley would be “their guy.” (And I would also call Gene Sperling the frontrunner to replace Larry Summers.) ┬áHere is the Reuters take:

Longtime Obama aide Pete Rouse is currently serving as interim chief of staff. He replaced Rahm Emanuel, who left the administration in October to enter the race for mayor of Chicago.

Many businesspeople had hoped Obama would fill Summers’ job as director of the National Economic Council with a chief executive. While Sperling has done consulting work for Goldman Sachs, his career has been heavily focused on public policy.

Daley served at Commerce during former President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Daley would bring a breadth of experience in business, not just in the financial sector. He serves on the board of Boeing Co. and has served in the past as director at Merck and Co. He is also a past president of SBC Communications.

J.P. Morgan spokesman Joe Evangelisti declined to comment.

Comments

Bill Daley? Never heard of him, but the fact that he has considerable private sector experience and also served in Bill Clinton’s cabinet is a) a good thing and b) yet more evidence that Mr. Clinton is gently pushing Mr. Obama to the centre.

The GOP had best be careful. They’ve been outwitted by Mr. Clinton before.

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