Obama's Chief of Staff Half-Resigns

William Daley will now only handle external relations
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2011 7:40 AM CST
Obama Chief of Staff William Daley Hands Duties to Pete Rouse
In this July 11, 2011 file photo, White House Chief of Staff William Daley listens as President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

William Daley has only been President Obama’s chief of staff for 10 months, but he's seemingly ready to be co-chief: Daley is stepping sideways, the Wall Street Journal reports, handing over the day-to-day running of the White House and its dealings with Congress to longtime Obama aide Pete Rouse, while Daley focuses on managing relations with business leaders and other important outsiders. "He likes continuing his relationships on the outside," said friend Ray LaHood, admitting that inside "it’s been a tough slog."

Daley developed poor relationships with both Harry Reid and John Boehner. Reid was incensed by Daley’s attempts to negotiate side deals with Republicans during budget talks, while Boehner simply had little contact with him—which became evident when Daley scheduled an Obama address to Congress during a GOP debate (Boehner complained, and the talk got pushed a day). Obama was furious, and sources say that’s when talk began of changing Daley’s role. Still, Daley remains upbeat. "It’s been probably the best job I’ve ever had," he says, "in spite of the difficulties." (More William Daley stories.)

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