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Tag Archives: William Daley

Obama Silent on Storms That Killed Dozens

Devastating storms roared through the South Saturday, killing 45 people and destroying the lives of an untold number of survivors, but President Obama has said nothing so far, either publicly or through a written White House statement.

Instead, the president went golfing Sunday.

Obama has been criticized as being slow off the mark in responding to a variety of crises, from the horrific Gulf oil spill to the rebellion against Qaddafi in Libya.

Obama’s inability to muster a few minutes of public empathy on behalf of the country for those reeling from Saturday’s tragic events is another failure of leadership for the president.

And the decision by Obama’s handlers to allow to get on the golf course Sunday without making any kind of statement about Saturday’s domestic disaster is incomprehensible.

The new team in charge led by Chief of Staff William Daley and Senior Adviser David Plouffe was supposed to be hard at work eliminating Obama’s tone deafness. But they seem to be mainly hard at work on his reelection campaign.

Obama’s advisers most recently green lighted a family trip to Latin America that looked a lot like a partial vacation, a televised showcase of him selecting his NCAA brackets, and yes, an outing on the golf course – all while the president was launching the United States into a war with Libya.

I assume he will at least say something about the storms today. But the people affected them were suffering YESTERDAY. Even though it was supposed to be a day off.

Obama and His Very own Fat Cat Bankers

President Obama is well known for disparaging big wheel bankers, labeling them “fat cats” and describing their pay as “obscene.” But what is less well known is the extent to which he has tolerated them as his most trusted advisers.

The appointment last month of William Daley to be chief of staff is only the most obvious example of this inconsistency. OK, hypocrisy. Sorry, inconsistency.

Daley, as has been (somewhat) widely reported, deep pocketed more that $15 million in bonuses, salary and pensions last year for what must have been some outstanding work for JP Morgan.

But Daley’s predecessor in the job, Rahm Emanuel, also made “obscene” sums as a banker, though it took him a bit longer than Daley. Between the time he resigned in 1998 as a senior adviser to President Clinton and his election to Congress in 2002, Emanuel made $16.2 million as an investment banker in Chicago.

Obama and William Daley
Obama applauds Daley for making $15 million in one year. Photo by Keith Koffler

OMB Director Jack Lew also tried his hand at banking, making about $2 million working for two years at Citigroup, including $1.1 million in compensation for his work in 2007 and a nearly $1 million bonus covering his duties in 2008. He took the bonus just before going to work at the Obama State Department, where he hung out until becoming OMB director.

One of Lew’s jobs at the bank was to head up a Citigroup hedge fund unit that profited from the financial crisis by investing in a firm that bet on the housing market to collapse. Very helpful.

Lew’s predecessor, Peter Orszag, joined Citgroup as Vice Chairman of Global Banking after leaving OMB last summer.

And then there’s National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who has profited handsomely by helping out fat cat bankers.

He lobbied from 1999-2005 for Fannie Mae, trying to keep regulators at bay while Fannie Mae self-destructed amid accounting irregularities and loans to people who couldn’t afford them.

After leaving Fannie Mae, he went on to carry water for some top investment bankers. According to a Wall Street Journal article on some of the Obamaites 2008 earnings:

Donilon earned $3.9 million as a partner at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where his clients include Citigroup, Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Obama fundraiser and heiress Penny Pritzker.

Ironically, the man perhaps most often cited as one of Obama’s banker, Treasury Secretary Time Geithner – often said to have worked for Goldman Sachs – has in fact never been a banker, and has spent a lifetime in public service.

Bill Daley: The Fat Cat Down the Hall

The White House chief of staff’s office is down the hall from the Oval. And in it is a FAT CAT.

Bill Daley was unfortunately forced to reveal that he deep pocketed more than $15 million in bonuses, salary and pensions last year from JP Morgan, which in case President Obama hadn’t noticed IS A BANK.

And now we know why Daley quit and came to the White House. Because last April, President Obama said, “At some point, you’ve made enough money.”

And Daley said, “Gosh, I just couldn’t stop myself until I heard Obama’s words. But now I’ll stop making money because I’ve got enough!”

Daley is in a special Fat Cat Recovery Program at George Washington University Hospital, just down the street from the White House. He’s joined there by OMB Director Jack Lew, who earned $1.1 million in 2008 at Citgroup; and Senior Adviser David Plouffe, who made $2 million doing “consulting” and whatever all these political types do when they step outside government for a year or two to set themselves up for the good life.

Plouffe Engineers New White House Order

Want to make sure you have the opportunity to check out today’s piece by Glenn Thrush in Politico about David Plouffe, the new senior White House adviser.

Plouffe is described as a kind of Rahm in Reverse, harboring the former chief of staff’s intensity but channeling it into a low key, highly organized disposition.

Plouffe, in Thrush’s telling, is bringing a new sense of order and message discipline to the White House. He may put the “openness White House” nonsense on the shelf for good: Plouffe privately refers to the press as “the Jackals.”

Thrush says Plouffe is working well with Chief of Staff William Daley, another no-nonsense type who was tapped to provide adult supervision to the West Wing Playground.

Obama Means Business!

Obama is adding to his growing collection of fat cat advisers, anointing General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to lead his outside panel of economic advisers and putting 83 year old Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the group, out to pasture.

As a way to emphasize hiss focus on getting the unemployment rate down while at the same time obscuring that Volcker was canned, Obama pretended to create an entirely new panel, rechristening the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board as the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

With his reelection imperiled by the still sluggish economy and stubborn joblessness, the former community organizer is now hugging corporate America so tightly he’s apt to break a few CEO ribs.

This month he has made JP Morgan Midwest chieftain Richard Daley his chief of staff, and now he’s brought on Immelt. He invited JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to this week’s state dinner for Hu Jintao, a sign of a rapprochement in Obama’s frayed relationship with his “favorite banker.”

Obama has signalled he wants to improve relations with the Chamber of Commerce, and is expected to address the Chamber next month.

What’s disturbing about all this is the chameleon character of it. One moment, the president is bashing bankers, opining that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money,” suggesting the Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign cash into the 2010 campaign, and so forth. And then the next moment he’s making his closest aides people who have devoted a significant amount of time to making MUCH MORE THAN ENOUGH money.

Obama of late is being criticized for noT seeming to have an ideology, for lacking a consistent set of principles.

I think he has a very consistent set of principles. Watch these people get marched out the door following his reelection.

Daley’s Response To His Last Appointment: Collapse

The first triumph of William Daley, who will be the new White House Chief of Staff, was not to repeat the performance he staged last time he was selected to a major administration post.

Below are some moving pictures showing Mr. Daley at his nomination ceremony to be Bill Clinton’s Commerce Secretary in 1996. You’ll notice that as Bill Richardson pontificates along, Daley gets that look in his eyes and heads straight for the floor. This is a perfectly normal reaction having to listening to Bill Richardson, but really, Daley should have been more polite.

You’ll notice that as Daley tumbles to the ground, Richardson looks like he thinks he might be under attack, which is another reasonable response to having to listen to Richardson. Al Gore comes to Daley’s rescue, quickly escorting him to a place where he can get treatment, or at the very least cause no further embarassment.  Dr. Bill Clinton diagnoses a fainting spell and assures everybody Daley is fine, when for all he knows a brain tumor has seized half of Daley’s cerebellum.

Anyway, Clinton turned out to be right.

Obama Announces Daley as Chief of Staff

President Obama today used the same East Room stage where he bid former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel adieu last year to present his new chief of staff, William Daley, to the White House and the country.

Obama stressed Daley’s undeniable qualifications for the job.

“He served as a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet as Commerce secretary. He took on several other important duties over the years on behalf of our country,” Obama said.

Obama and William Daley
Obama introduces William Daley in the East Room.
photo by Keith Koffler

“He’s led major corporations,” Obama continued. “And, needless to say, Bill also has a smidgen of awareness of how our system of government and politics works. You might say it is a genetic trait.”

But Obama also used his remarks to offer a paean to acting Chief of Staff Pete Rouse, who drew wildly enthusiastic applause from the assembled White House staffers and appeared to grow quite emotional during the ceremony.

Obama made clear that Rouse, who will move to senior adviser and report to Daley, was not being bumped aside. Calling him and “a unique and indispensible asset” who had not wanted the chief of staff job in the first place, Obama said he was greatful Rouse will stay on.  “I cannot imagine life here without him, and I told him so,” Obama said.

Daley, in his remarks, made clear he’s not unwilling to suck up to his new boss, comparing him favorably to no less than John F. Kennedy – the ultimate compliment for a Democratic politician.

“Fifty years ago this month, I visited the White House with my parents and my brothers and sisters to visit a young president who went on to show great strength, leadership and vision in the face of enormous challenges in those times,” Daley said. “You, Mr. President, are proving your strength, your leadership, your vision during a most difficult time for our nation and for the world.”

One would assume that Daley got pretty good treatment . It is widely believed that Daley’s father Richard, then the mayor and undisputed boss of Chicago, handed Kennedy the crucial state of Illinois in the 1960 election by pumping up the JFK’s vote in the city.

Daley is expected to assume responsibilities later this month, around the time of the State of the Union speech.

William Daley Chosen White House Chief of Staff

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.

The Daley News: Obama May Pick Centrists

The latest murmurings about White House staff changes point to the continuation of President Obama’s move to the center, dictated by a desire to be reelected amid popular discontent with the sharp leftward turn of his first two years. Obama is considering William Daley, brother of the departing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, to be chief… Continue Reading