William Daley, scion of Chicago’s most storied political family a former Commerce Secretary to Bill Clinton, will become President Obama’s chief of staff, the White House is confirming.
Obama will introduce Daley at the White House at 2:30 pm ET.
According to the Associated Press, which first broke the story, acting White House Chief of Staff Pete Rouse did not want the job, and so it was given to Daley. Rouse will remain as a senior adviser.
Daley is viewed as a moderate with strong ties to the business community. His selection, along with the expected announcement Friday that Gene Sperling will be the White House National Economic Council Director, points to a move to the center by Obama as he gears up for his reelection campaign in 2012.
Daley who visited the White House Wednesday for meetings that apparently finalized his selection.
Daley is widely viewed as a straight shooting, no-nonsense type, a contrast with the highly emotive style of former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Though Daley is from Chicago – he is the brother and son of the two Richard Daleys who have served as mayor – Obama does not know him well. Daley is not part of the “Chicago Mafia” brought to Washington by the president, having closer ties to the Clintons than Obama’s political machine.
But the president should be able to work well with him. Daley has a calm demeanor and a dry sense of humor that make him easy to like and that will serve him well amid the tumult of the West Wing.
The move comes amid significant upheaval at the White House. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced Wednesday that he is departing, as are a group of second tier staffers like Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina.
Daley is likely to bring in several of his own people to serve as aides.