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Obama announces resignation of chief of staff

By Ben Feller

AP White House Correspondent

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:30 p.m. HST, Jan 09, 2012


WASHINGTON >> In an abrupt jolt to the White House, President Barack Obama announced Monday that chief of staff William Daley was quitting and heading home to Chicago, capping a short and rocky tenure that had been expected to last until Election Day in November. Obama budget chief Jack Lew will take over the job.

Daley's run as Obama's chief manager and gatekeeper lasted for all of one consequential year — filled with notable moments like the killing of al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, but also internal grumbles that the top aide had not turned out to be the right fit to coordinate an intense operation of ideas, offices and egos.

Obama said he took the news reluctantly, initially refusing to accept Daley's resignation letter last week and ordering him to think it over. Daley stood by the decision, expressing a desire to be with his family and return to Chicago.

Yet he offered no explanation on Monday about what accelerated his decision; Daley had committed to Obama that he would stay on through the election. Obama senior adviser Pete Rouse had already taken on more of the day-to-day management of the White House, trimming Daley's portfolio amid West Wing struggles over coordination and communication.

"No one in my administration has had to make more important decisions more quickly than Bill, and that's why I think this decision is difficult for me," Obama said to a nearly empty State Dining Room, other than mainly the assembled media.

Lew and Daley stood by the president but did not speak. The White House said neither man was giving interviews.

Obama now plows ahead into an election year with his third chief of staff — one of the most influential and demanding jobs in government and politics.

Daley had come aboard last January to replace the colorful and involved-in-everything Rahm Emanuel, who left the job to run for Chicago mayor, a position he now holds.

The transition from Daley to Lew is expected to take place at the end of the month. Just ahead for Obama are two crucial, tone-setting events: his State of the Union speech on Jan. 24 and the release of his budget proposal in early February.

An Obama campaign official said Daley will serve as one of the co-chairs of Obama's Chicago-based re-election efforts. Other co-chairs will be announced in the coming weeks, said the official, who requested anonymity to speak ahead of the official announcement.

___

Associated Press writers Erica Werner and Julie Pace contributed to this report.







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Waterman2 wrote:
Oh Lord Help us.
on January 9,2012 | 09:34AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Has anyone read the new book, The Obamas? Michele is hard on staffers, maybe she didn't like Daley? Two NY Times writers have now written books somewhat critical of Obamas. If that is what their friends think, the tell all book that comes out in '12 will be something. Did you see the press conference? Got to love the part about Daley returning to "our beloved home town." Sorry, not Honolulu.
on January 9,2012 | 01:55PM
Changalang wrote:
Huge! Wonder what the internal national polling is showing in the Administration. On the outside, I see Republican Conservatives and the White House Super Pacs attacking presumptive GOP national candidate Romney. Looks like fear. Old hand "D"s like Daley swimming off the ship first is telling. Best to fix the narrative now, Mr. President.
on January 9,2012 | 09:54AM
Kuniarr wrote:
The president is enjoying 2012 from his dismal polling in 2011. He is letting the Republicans stumble over each other and will use the gridlock he broke on his Payroll Tax proposal. Obama of 2011 is still the same as Obama of 2012. The only difference is that the opposing Republicans are giving Obama a boost.
on January 10,2012 | 09:51AM
kuewa wrote:
My guess is that Daley was not so favorable toward the President's more aggressive approach against the TP-driven Repubs. On the other hand, I'm sure Daley will be a key player for the re-election campaign.
on January 9,2012 | 12:06PM
suckseed wrote:
No stomach for losing 2012
on January 9,2012 | 01:11PM
inverse wrote:
Is there some kind of competition between Obama and Abercrombie on who can get the most of their staff members to quit? Or is it the 'insiders' know they only have a job for one term and figure better to leave now and minimize their losing toxicity?
on January 9,2012 | 06:47PM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
Grab the life boats!
on January 10,2012 | 06:58AM
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