So Just Who Is This Bill Daley?

Profiles: He's a 'bare-knuckles' whip-cracker—and a disappointment to liberals
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2011 9:32 AM CST
In this June 19, 2009 photo, William Daley, right, speaks to the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board in Chicago with former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar.   (AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, Brian Jackson)
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(Newser) – William Daley has terms like "longtime Democratic operative," "former Clinton secretary of commerce" and "Chicago political scion" thrown about him, but the New York Times takes a closer look at President Obama's new right-hand guy. He's “a bare-knuckles administrator ... someone who not only makes the trains run on time, he makes them run ahead of time,” says a veteran of the foundering Gore campaign Daley was called in to resuscitate. “He quickly brought order to the house. He held people accountable.”

Daley's the guy who delivered NAFTA, securing some 100 Democratic votes against steep odds in a show of political savvy remarkable for someone who's never held elective office (even though he's known as "the brains" of the Daley political machine). Insiders tell the Times that he's more pragmatist than idealogue, but Politico makes the case that Daley's appointment has finally broken liberals' hearts and illusions that Obama was a left-winger masquerading as a centrist.

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