White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley Gets Demoted in Obama’s White House

William DaleyWhite House Chief of Staff William Daley is having his “portfolio reconfigured,” according to the Wall Street Journal:

William M. Daley was hired to help resuscitate Barack Obama’s presidency after deep Democratic losses in 2010. Ten months into his tenure as chief of staff, Mr. Daley’s core responsibilities are shifting, following White House missteps in the debt-ceiling fight and in its relations with Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

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.

The recalibration of Mr. Daley’s portfolio, agreed to by Mr. Obama, 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, people familiar with the matter said. The West Wing is preparing for budget battles with Congress and is seeking to use its executive powers more extensively.

(Emphases mine.)  So the White House is getting ready to put more emphasis on campaigning over governing?  Compared to what they’ve already been doing, including endless fundraisers and phony “jobs bills” designed for no other purpose than giving Obama a tub to thump during the 2012 campaign?  The mind reels.  I’m not sure how Obama could increase the emphasis on campaigning, short of launching his own reality show.

Of course, the White House is not portraying this as a “demotion,” and it theory it doesn’t have to be.  Rouse could be handling all the boring stuff back at the ranch, while Daley gets to go on crazy adventures across the fruited plain.  However, the Journal says “the new set-up effectively makes Mr. Rouse the president’s inside manager and Mr. Daley his ambassador, roles that appear to better suit both men’s talents,” which implies a significant reduction in Daley’s status.

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Source: John Hayward, Human Events

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