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How Daley will help Obama

Obama may have told a 60 Minutes interviewer that he "did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street." But there is one banker he will be helping out after all. William Daley, a J.P. Morgan executive and former commerce secretary during the Clinton administration, was named Obama's chief of staff Thursday, ending months of speculation about who would take over the powerful administration post.

Now that Daley has been named to the job, Obama's decision will be hailed as a smart move by some and criticized loudly by others. Daley, who advocates a center-left, moderate approach to politics, has close ties to corporations that could help Obama repair his anti-business image as he gears up for reelection. But it's also likely to anger those on the left who simultaneously feel Obama is far too close to Wall Street.

Whether he intended to or not, Obama did more in selecting Daley than appease moderate businessmen or tick off frustrated liberals. More important, he selected someone who is not just like him. As with any chief executive deciding on an operations chief, it was critical for Obama to pick someone with qualities that fill in his own personal gaps, complementing both his strengths and his weaknesses.

Daley appears to do that in spades. At 62, he has the gravitas and experience that critics have said the Obama administration is lacking; he is often complemented as an "adult" and a "grownup." Obviously, he has close ties to business--he has led Amalgamated Bank, been vice chairman of boutique investment firm Evercore Capital Partners, and served as president of SBC, in addition to his recent years at J.P. Morgan--while Obama's relationship with the private sector has been strained. And he will give centrist, moderate credibility to Republican and independent voters who see the president as too left leaning.

Perhaps most interesting is that he is an outsider to an administration criticized for being too insular. He's been public about having issues with some of Obama's most important new policies, including financial reform--while at J.P Morgan, he reportedly rebuffed the White House's request for support of the law's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau--and health care, about which he told The New York Times the administration "miscalculated." Obama's willingness to bring in someone at such a high level who has disagreed with him lends credence to the idea that the president is listening to divergent viewpoints and including people in his inner circle with whom he doesn't always see eye to eye.

While the vice president may be the second-in-command (and Obama clearly looked for complementary strengths and areas of expertise, such as age and foreign policy smarts, in choosing Joe Biden), it is the chief of staff who manages the day-to-day workings of the White House. Daley's ties to business, his centrist politics and, perhaps most important, his age and gravitas, should go a long way to helping Obama answer critics about his weaknesses. That is, as long as he keeps letting Daley disagree with him.

By Jena McGregor

 |  January 6, 2011; 4:33 PM ET |  Category:  Change management , Federal government leadership , Government leadership , Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Daley might help obama complete the demopublican conversion of this country to the third world,happy for the globalist business types who whine about obama and his "union worker alliance etc"

Posted by: schmidt1 | January 8, 2011 10:20 AM

Daley will not help Obama.

Of course, the Obama who caved to Conservatives on the Health Plan and the Tax Plan, and who preemptively froze the Federal Payroll 'thinks' that the best way to counter the Conservative arguments is to become one.

But, Obama is wrong. The best way to counter Conservative arguments is to fight them tooth and nail, to hold hearings on Unconstitutional actions of guys like John Yoo during the Bush Admin., and to generally behave like a progressive. Absolutely the President should be challenging the Supreme Court (as FDR did), and telling them that Citizens United just cannot stand. Else, they (the Supremes) will rule his health care compromise, unconstitutional.

So, we are playing a game of National chicken with our future; and the imbeciles are winning.

But, Obama doesn't understand that yet.

Posted by: bert8 | January 8, 2011 9:18 AM

James Christian:

I am personaly in 100% agreement with your posting on here in this era of post BUSH & CHENNEY ADMINS this country has an is turning into the most fascist nation that i personaly have ever witnessed in my entire lifetime of 64 years. thiis nation is being totaly controled by the industrial complex an the big coporate & special instrest in this country an the average working class stiffs in this country do not stand an chance in hell against these kind of powerful money monpolies. they are consanatly infringing upon peoples personnel fredoms an constitutional rights tot he point that i feel like standing up an saying zeig heil an throwing my arm into the air if you understand what i am sayin here thank you

Posted by: pbjbeach@yahoo.com | January 8, 2011 8:40 AM

Obama's goal in all of his appointments is to attempt to disguise the fact that he is a radical socialist. And it's not working.

Posted by: hammeresq | January 8, 2011 7:59 AM

If Obama conducted our foreign policy vis a vis nations that wish us ill as he conducted his domestic relations with the Republicans who wish us ill, we would have been lost even before he lost the last election. His brilliant and gutsy choice of Clinton for Secretary of State has saved us from that. Daley may bring to the White House -- and shove down the throats of the congressioanl Republicans and their Wall Street johns -- a proper sense of what politics is all about: an alternative to war.

Posted by: morphex | January 8, 2011 12:51 AM

Oh, please, J.P. Morgan is being rescued by the Fed on their gold and silver shorts on a near-weekly. The manipulations by J.P Morgan, HSBC, Bank of America are legion in the gold and silver markets. There's a catch though, lawsuits ranging far and wide against J.P and HSBC for failing to restore physical silver to the COMEX to cover their shorts. In more "peaceful" times, they could make up for their shorting with cash. Since long positions in solver markets want their physical silver in return for their gains and no longer want dollars in exchange for their gains, J.P., HSBC and others have put themselves into the position of crashing the COMEX. It's the next criminal scandal. Hence, the lawsuits. And this Daly that Obama hired is the first one to be interrogated.

And, you morons that are holding silver ETF certificates are scrood. THAT is the most worthless paper since modern-day Federal Reserve Notes.

Face it, folks. The Banks, Fed and Wall Street own the government. The government exists merely to protect THEM from the little people. The government is NOT about protecting US from THEM. The little people are simply sheep being led to a riotous, poverty-ridden future. And all our government is about at this point is control of the sheeple. The appointment of Daly of J.P. Morgon to Obama's cabinet is about making sure Obama does what J.P. Morgan wants. Obama is being run as surely as Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Clinton, Johnson, all the way back to Kennedy. Play ball or you're dead.

Oh sure, they throw us a Milkin, a DeLorean, or a Madov to "show" there's enforcement, but the big boys (the Fed, banks, military-industrial and oil) run the show, rape it, rob it, and keep everyone under their spell. That's all it is and our government plays ball with ALL of it because they have no choice.

Posted by: JamesChristian | January 7, 2011 9:22 PM

i, too, am disappointed in this decision. i think obama may be a republican in democrat clothing. he needs a primary challenge for sure.

here's my prediction: we hardly hear about hillary which means she's distancing herself from obama. in about a year, she'll resign as secretary of state to pursue "other interests". the press will find out she's forming an "investigatory committee" for an "undisclosed" government post and before obama can get his bid in, she announces she's running for president.

they hold a primary and hillary campaigns that we need a "real democrat" in the white house and that this time let's make another first but one whose legacy will stand the test of time. the democrat party is energized again and she gets the nomination and runs against...sarah palin.
hillary selects howard dean as her running mate while sarah palin chooses dick chaney. sarah and dick go hunting and with their poor gunmanship, shoot each other and hillary wins by default. america is happy once again with hillary and bill and dean. the end.

Posted by: glenknowles | January 7, 2011 2:20 AM

I am one of the 2008 Obama voters. Obama spent the last weeks of the 2010 campaign urging people like me to get out and vote for Democrats. I ignored his pleas and stayed home because he has done plenty for Wall Street, but very little for those of us who supported him.

His appointment of Daley is just another indication that he cares more about the needs of Wall Street than the needs of people like me, so I and many others like me will not be turning out for him in 2012. He and his fat cat friends can roast in Hell.

Posted by: continental46@aol.com | January 6, 2011 11:58 PM

Uh-oh, the appointment of Daley, a top executive of the much-reviled Chase bank, seems to mean that Obama is once again favoring Smith Barney over Barney Smith.

Does anyone remember Barney?
(Hints: Denver? Convention? 2008?)

And, BTW, here's a little update on the current practices of Chase:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/06/BUUJ1H4422.DTL

Posted by: HughBriss | January 6, 2011 7:35 PM

I think the move is a reaction to the midterm elections. There is too much reactionary politics and politicians get away from principle and from the people who elected them. This may help his relationship with the business community. But, I have said it once and will say it again. I believe that these big corporations and big financial institutions are sitting on trillions of dollars and will not invest it in job creation. They want this economy to stay neutral and get worse so that Obama and the Democrats can be blamed by voters in hopes getting him defeated in 2012. I bet you that if Obama loses in 2012, you will see rapid recovery like never before and the Republican president will get all the credit and will serve 8 years. It is gutter politics. This is why the GOP will not work with Obama because they want him to fail.

Posted by: jharris3 | January 6, 2011 7:08 PM

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