William Daley tapped as White House chief of staff

Mayor 'honored' at brother's new post

January 6, 2011

By Alex Keefe and The Associated Press

William Daley (AP/File)
President Barack Obama is hiring William Daley, brother of Chicago's mayor, to be his next chief of staff.
Daley is a veteran political manager with Wall Street ties who will now direct a White House that's steaming toward re-election mode. Two senior administration officials on Thursday confirmed Obama's decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it hasn't been officially announced by the president.
But Mayor Richard Daley confirmed the news at a press conference late Wendesday morning, saying he's honored that his brother will be serving President Barack Obama.

"I belive he brings a passion, a commitment of service both in the private and public sector," the mayor said of his brother.

But Daley seemed to dismiss suggestions that his brother joins the White House as a wartime consigliere, as Mr. Obama prepares to grapple with a newly Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and as the 2012 election draws nearer.

Mayor Daley declined to offer advice to his younger brother, but he did say he believed William Daley's leadership could mean a step away from divisive Washington politics.

"Let's get down, let's roll [up] our sleeves, let's talk about after-school programs, let's talk about technology, let's talk about jobs - and that's what he's going to get back to," said the mayor.

William Daley will step into one of the most important and influential jobs in American government as an adviser and gatekeeper to Obama. He'll replace Pete Rouse, who's been serving as an interim chief of staff since Rahm Emanuel resigned to run for Chicago mayor.

Rouse is a behind-the-scenes Obama adviser who didn't want the position permanently and recommended Daley for it. Daley is now a banking executive for JPMorgan Chase who formerly served as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton.