Obama: Bill Daley Out, Jack Lew In

After Daley resignation, Obama to replace one battle-tested Washington pro with another.

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After one tumultuous year as one of the White House's top aides, Bill Daley will be stepping down as the White House Chief of Staff, President Obama announced Monday.

Daley is the son of Chicago's legendary mayor Richard Daley, and has had an eclectic career which included stints at Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase, as the Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton, and as presidential candidate Al Gore's campaign director in 2000. Obama said Daley's resignation came as a surprise to him, and that he initially tried to talk him out of it, but ultimately the 63-year-old wanted to spend more time with his family.

"Bill has been an outstanding chief of staff during one of the busiest, and most consequential years of my administration," Obama said. "No one in my administration has had to make more important decisions more quickly than Bill."

[Jobs Report is a Belated Christmas Present for Obama.]

As chief of staff, Daley guided the Obama administration through tense negotiations with Congress over raising the federal debt limit and extending funding in government, while also handling a conflict in Libya and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. But he had seen his role in the White House marginalized in the past few months, with many Washington insiders questioning his dealings with Congress.

As his replacement, Obama is turning to Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew, who was also heavily involved in dealings with Congress over the budget and deficit. Like Daley, Lew brings battle-tested skills to the table—aside from his current position, he also served as OMB director during the Clinton years.Unlike Cabinet positions, the chief of staff is not subject to Senate confirmation.


Twitter: @AlexParkerDC