President Obama has reportedly approached William Daley — a Clinton-era commerce secretary, J.P. Morgan Chase executive, and brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley — about being his new White House chief of staff. On the surface, it might seem a curious choice: Daley has opposed the creation of Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, criticized the administration for focusing on health care reform, and has close ties to the Chamber of Commerce. (Watch a Fox News discussion about Daley's credentials.) So why would Obama pick him? Here's what commentators are saying:
The left would hate it: Needless to say, selecting Daley would be "greeted with some hostility in Mr. Obama's liberal base," says Joan McCarter in Daily Kos. Going with someone who attacked two "keystone" White House accomplishments would "make Obama look like some sort of masochist." Let's hope it's just a trial balloon.
"William Daley in running for chief of staff job"
Wall Street would love it: Daley would bring a much-needed "blend of policy and real-world business experience" to the White House, says Brian Wingfield in Forbes. But his selection would also be a sort of peace offering to Wall Street and good news for the TARP-tainted banking sector.
"Daley pick could be a good sign for banks"
Daley fits Obama's needs: "Corporate America could hardly ask for a stronger signal of empathy from the West Wing" than Daley, says Michael Crowley in Time. But Daley's real selling point is that he is a "master political operative" who would be "the kind of focused, get-things-done, no-drama manager that Obama likes to rely on."
"William Daley, Obama's corporate ambassador?"
Big Business wants "policy, not people": The notion that Daley would automatically improve relations with the business community is "frankly slightly insulting to business leaders," says Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. Their feelings toward the White House don't rely on "how many close personal friends they have in the building," but rather if its policies are business-friendly or not. They don't care who is manning the Oval Office phone.
"The business community wants policy, not people"
Another Chicago insider? Bad move: He's also a product of the Daley family political machine, and a member of Obama's Chicago circle, says John Kass in the Chicago Tribune. And that's "fantastic news" for Obama's critics. If picking "Daley machine" guy Rahm Emanuel as his first chief of staff was a sign that Obama isn't serious about a new style of politics, how much better is it to have "a real, honest-to-goodness Daley in there running things?"
"Billy Daley as Obama's chief of staff? I love it, love it, love it"