Rearranging the deck chairs

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Key Obama Aide Relinquishes Some Duties

By CAROL E. LEE, The Wall Street Journal

NOVEMBER 8, 2011

On Monday, Mr. Daley turned over day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a veteran aide to President Obama, according to several people familiar with the matter. It is unusual for a White House chief of staff to relinquish part of the job.

A senior White House official who attended Monday’s staff meeting where Mr. Daley made the announcement said that his new role has not yet been fully defined. But in recent weeks, Mr. Daley has focused more on managing relations with influential outsiders.

A former executive at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and a Commerce secretary in the Clinton administration, Mr. Daley was widely hailed as a breath of fresh air for a White House seeking to cut deals with emboldened Republicans and repair the administration’s soured relations with business.

Mr. Daley made strides in his outreach to business, including leading a White House effort to ease government regulations and shepherding three free-trade deals through a divided Congress. But the relationship has fallen short of expectations. White House officials acknowledge even an emissary of Mr. Daley’s caliber could go only so far. Mr. Obama’s recent push to boost taxes on wealthy Americans has complicated that effort.

On the congressional front, one big problem has been a tense relationship between Mr. Daley and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), which soured during the budget negotiations this year, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Daley angered Democrats by trying to cut side budget deals with Republicans. He stoked the tension recently by telling a columnist for the website Politico that “both Democrats and Republicans” have made it difficult for Mr. Obama to govern.

Obama’s Chief of Staff Steps Down Amid Behind-the-Scenes Shitstorm

By Seth Abramovitch, Gawker

Nov 8, 2011 2:49 AM

The “recalibration of Mr. Daley’s portfolio” (the WSJ euphemisms are like poetry!) is designed to “smooth any kinks in the president’s team as it braces for the overlapping demands of governing while campaigning for re-election.”

Example of a “kink”: Remember when Obama announced he’d be unveiling his big jobs plan during a GOP presidential debate, and everyone was thrilled that he was finally showing a spine? And then John Boehner poked his head out of his irradiating clamshell to say, “No fucking way?” And then the president backed down and looked like a total wuss again? Well, Obama read the riot act to his staff, demanding to know how they could have failed to see that conflict coming. All bucks stopped at Daley’s desk – he was the one who said everyone had signed off on that first date.


  1. It’s not an episode of MT’s Jackass, nor a new Faux TV reality show, it’s the 2012 presidential debates.

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