William Daley: Positive and negative reaction
President Obama's announcement that William Daley will be his new chief of staff got mixed reviews that cut across party lines. Some praised the former commerce secretary and current Midwest chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase as an experienced and skillful public servant. Others argued that Daley is too beholden to big business and that his Wall Street ties are a conflict of interest.
Thomas Donohue, Chamber of Commerce
"This is a strong appointment. We look forward to working with him to accelerate our recovery, grow the economy, create jobs, and tackle America's global challenges."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
"We used to say the last two years, I don't know whether it's technically true or not, but there's nobody down at the White House who'd ever even run a lemonade stand. They're all college professors, former elected officials. This is a guy who's actually been out in the private sector, been a part of business. Frankly my first reaction is, it sounds like a good idea."
Ken Duberstein, chief of staff to former President Ronald Reagan
"Bill is a consummate team player who knows Washington and the business community. He's accustomed to dealing in the rough and tumble of Chicago and national politics, with easy entrée to the business community and to the various power players on Capitol Hill."
"I don't agree with [him] on a lot of stuff politically, but I do think -- A, he is a grownup and B, he gets that you don't treat people like you know everything and they don't ... [H]e is outside of Washington, he sees things the way people outside Washington do. It is not a left or right issue."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
"I think he's really somebody who will help the White House significantly. People have said for a long time, that the president needs people around him who understand business, who aren't academics or from Wall Street."
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
"An accomplished and skilled public servant with a deep knowledge of policy."
"Bill is an outstanding leader who has played a critical role in heading our corporate social responsibility efforts. Throughout his time at our company, he has been an exemplar of wisdom, integrity and decency. While we will miss him greatly, Bill's return to public service is great news for our country."
"President Obama has made a brilliant choice in naming William Daley, a member of Third Way's Board, to serve as White House Chief of Staff - and his selection sends a clear signal that he intends to govern and campaign from the center over the next two years."
"The relevant thing is his ability to make the trains run on time and the dedication to public service. Everything one knows about Mr. Daley's past shows he would come through with flying colors."
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
"I believe that they just tilt too far towards that Wall Street crowd, and they're going to keep moving in that direction, and that's not where I think we need to go."
Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org
"With Wall Street reporting record profits while middle class Americans continue to struggle in a deep recession, the announcement that William Daley, who has close ties to the Big Banks and Big Business, will now lead the White House staff is troubling and sends the wrong message to the American people."
Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign.
"This was a real mistake by the White House. Bill Daley consistently urges the Democratic Party to pursue a corporate agenda that alienates both Independent and Democratic voters. If President Obama listens to that kind of political advice from Bill Daley, Democrats will suffer a disastrous 2012."
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen
"Why in the world is President Barack Obama selecting as his chief of staff a person who comes from the very Wall Street that wrecked the economy and who is an ardent supporter of the job-offshoring, NAFTA-style trade agreements that have hollowed out the industrial heartland?"
"Instead of distancing himself from the favor-trading Wall Street fat cats who have earned the ire of both anti-bailout tea party activists and anti-corporate liberals, Obama remains wedded, embedded and indebted to the worst kind."
"As the chief of staff, he is the gatekeeper, and that means real power in Washington. Just about any way you look at it, it creates a huge potential for a conflict of interest."
AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka
"The president is of course entitled to choose a chief of staff in whom he has complete confidence. Yet President Obama and his Administration will ultimately be judged by results -- whether the economy recovers robustly and begins to generate good jobs on the scale needed to improve the lives of working people. The president needs a chief of staff who will reach out to diverse constituencies and make sure that the voices of ordinary Americans are heard in the White House."
| January 6, 2011; 5:05 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency, Barack Obama
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