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Recently in Daley, William Category

WASHINGTON--Bill Daley is telling Democratic senators who voted against gun-control measures last week not to bother coming to Chicago for political money and advising his pals in New York and Los Angeles--other big fund-raising cities--not to donate to them either. In a Washington Post column headlined "Heidi Heitcamp betrayed me on gun control," Daley takes particular aim at the freshman Democrat for her anti-gun control votes.

Without votes from Heitcamp, three other Democratic senators and 41 GOP senators, the Senate gun-control measures fell short of the supermajority of 60 votes needed to survive.

The column comes as Daley--President Barack Obama's former chief of staff and former Commerce Secretary-- is mulling a Democratic primary run for Illinois governor.

"I want my money back," writes Daley. "Last October, I gave $2,500 to support Heidi Heitkamp's campaign to become North Dakota's junior senator. A few weeks later, she won a surprise victory

"I have had a long career in government and politics, but I don't donate heavily to political campaigns. When I contribute, it's because I know the candidate well or am really impressed with the person. Heidi Heitkamp was one of the latter: She struck me as strong-willed, principled and an independent thinker.

"But this week, Heitkamp betrayed those hopes."

Daley said of the three other Democrats who voted against background checks-- Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Max Baucus of Montana-- "no doubt they'll come to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other cities looking for money to fuel their campaigns. These cities, of course, are also too often the destination for illegal guns flowing in from out of state. So I'll have some advice for my friends in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles: Just say no to the Democrats who said no on background checks

WASHINGTON--Business executive Penny Pritzker, expected to be tapped by President Barack Obama to be Commerce Secretary, on Thursday quit her seat on the Chicago School Board.

Pritzker was the finance chair for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and an early supporter of his political career. Pritzker's ability to raise early major money for Obama's White House run--when he was locked in a battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton--made his candidacy viable.

Sun-Times City Hall Reporter Fran Spielman has the story HERE.

She submitted her resignation in a brief letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff. Quitting governmental boards --and severing ties to business enterprises --are necessary for a cabinet appointee. Pritzker would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

WASHINGTON--Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, I'm told, now is very close to deciding to run for governor in 2014, where she would face Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and possibly former White House Chief of Staff/Commerce Secretary Bill Daley in a Democratic primary.

Madigan has a major fund-raiser set for March 18 at Wildfire, 159 W. Erie, with the price tiers running from $1,000 to $5,000. The theme is to mark her 10 years as Illinois' attorney general -- and all her accomplishments.

In Washington recently, Madigan met with the League of Conservation Voters and her political chief, Gina Natale, huddled with Emily's List.

A day after winning election to a second term, President Barack Obama, Michelle, Malia and Sasha returned to the White House from their Kenwood home -- with Obama stopping by his headquarters here for an emotional send-off to his campaign workers.

Obama was joined by campaign manager Jim Messina and chief strategist David Axelrod. They all gave shout-outs to the staff and volunteers who gathered together in the massive Prudential Building office for the last time.

Almost all of the paid staff in Chicago and in state operations will be without jobs in a few days. Obama stayed about an hour.

Cabinet, other changes

Meanwhile, the Obama second term will be starting to take shape, with speculation already raging about Cabinet switches and other high-level staff changes that may be in the works. I don't expect any wholesale, done-in-a-day overhauls; rather, watch for a gradual process.

Here's the talk:

♦ Treasury. The current White House chief of staff, Jack Lew, has the inside track to be named Treasury secretary to replace Tim Geithner. Another name floating around is Erskine Bowles, who was a White House chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton.

♦ Chief of staff. Names that have been mentioned to replace Lew (who followed Bill Daley who came after Rahm Emanuel) include senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett also oversees the White House offices of intergovernmental affairs and public engagement. Jarrett's role is larger than her titles suggest; she is a counselor-at-large on a variety of matters, often travels with the president and is a personal confidante to both the president and Mrs. Obama.

Another name mentioned is Ron Klain, an attorney who most recently was helping Obama in debate prep. Klain has been chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden and Vice President Al Gore.

♦ State. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is eager to leave. I've heard that United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice is at the top of the list to replace her -- even if she has to navigate through the controversy over the timeline she offered about the murders of the four American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been very interested in the spot, but quitting his Senate seat would trigger a consequence: another battle over a Massachusetts Senate seat. Republican Sen. Scott Brown, defeated Tuesday by Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, could start plotting a comeback.

♦ Defense. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commutes back home to California almost weekly and is said to looking for an off-ramp in the next months. One name mentioned is former Undersecretary Michele Flournoy -- who would be the first woman in the spot.

♦ Education. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former Chicago schools chief, wants to stay -- and there is no plan for a change.

♦ Attorney General. Attorney General Eric Holder would like to leave eventually -- but does not want to seem as if he were run out of office over the "Fast and Furious" gun-running controversy. The top name to replace him is Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

♦ Transportation. A bit back, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signaled one term might be enough; I'm told he may be persuaded to stay on -- at least for a while.

♦ Agriculture. Secretary Tom Vilsack was interested in staying -- but that was when his wife, Christie, was running for an Iowa House seat. She lost Tuesday, so the couple may be rethinking their future.

The inauguration

Planning has already started for Obama to be sworn into his second term -- with the date a historic footnote.

The 57th presidential inauguration is to take place on Jan. 21. Say what? The 20th Amendment to the Constitution in 1933 set the date at noon Jan. 20.

Why the next day? According to the House/Senate committee handling inauguration ceremonies, the 2013 inauguration marks the seventh time since 1933 that Jan. 20 in an inauguration year has landed on a Sunday.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

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Gov. Pat Quinn and Rep. Aaron Schock on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

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Bill Daley on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

Lynn Sweet getting ready for live shot on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" talking with the shows' Cate Cetta

MSNBC's "Morning Joe," with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist broadcast live from Chicago on Tuesday morning.

The guest list: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Warren Buffett; Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Illinois); Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Illinois); President of the National Urban League Marc Morial; Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times; Mike Barnicle, MSNBC Contributor; Steve Rattner, former Obama Auto Czar; Mike Allen, Dennis Deer, Deer Rehabilitation Services; Susan Axelrod, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy; Ken Williams, On-Line Systems.

From MSNBC: "The show will discuss Obama's strategy for re-election with Chicago being ground zero for the campaign and how the economy will impact the Presidential election.

""Morning Joe" will also look at how Goldman Sachs' "10,000 Small Businesses" program is helping small businesses put Americans back to work."

Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley acknowledged Wednesday that President Barack Obama has a "very difficult time" with the business community.

"They think he's like Marx or something," Daley said.

Daley made his comments in his first big speech since stepping down as President Barack Obama's chief of staff, giving a home town crowd insights into the White House and beyond. Sun-Times political writer Abdon M. Pallasch was there and his full report is HERE.

Excerpts from the Pallasch report....

How does Obama get on with business people.?

"They think he's like Marx or something," Daley said. "It's like he's destroyed the world and the financial services industry as we know it. Most of the public today believes the president has been too light on the financial service sector. Nobody's gone to jail. He didn't nationalize the banks. The president has a very difficult time with the business community. Most people in business and most people who are successful are Republican that's just a fact of life."

"....The evidence that Osama bin Laden was really in that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was so thin, Daley said, that: "Trust me, if you went to 26th and California [the Cook County Criminal Courthouse] with the evidence that Osama bin Laden was in the building, no judge would have given you a search warrant. No way. They would have looked at you and said, 'bring me something real here.' "

"The crowd of business leaders at the Union League Club breakfast laughed at Daley's hometown spin on national and international events.

WASHINGTON -- Probable GOP nominee Mitt Romney's central argument for his candidacy, his experience as a private-sector CEO, was shredded Wednesday by Bill Daley, President Barack Obama's former White House chief of staff -- a business executive and former Commerce Secretary.

"Being president is not analogous to being CEO," Daley told me in an interview. "That's a fallacy that some people like to continue."

Especially with an independent-minded Congress, the CEO resume "just has no relevance whatsoever to the modern presidency and the way the government has been structured by the different branches over the last 40, 50 years."

Daley, in our interview, also for the first time reacted to assertions by Senate Democrats in the new book by journalist David Corn, Showdown, that he was free-lancing in his dealings with GOP House Speaker John Boehner during the 2011 fiscal battles. "I wasn't ceding anything that wasn't authorized by the entire White House," Daley said.

Romney's tenure at Bain and Company is part of his stump speech; he accuses Obama of being a failed president in part because he lacked private-sector experience before he got the job.

"For 25 years, I lived and breathed jobs, business, and the economy. I had successes and failures but each step of the way, I learned a little more about what it is that makes our American system so powerful," Romney said in Schaumburg on March 20 in a speech marking his decisive victory in the Illinois primary .

Aiming at Obama, Romney continued, "You can't learn that teaching Constitutional law. You can't learn that as a community organizer. The simple truth is that this President just doesn't understand the genius of America's economy -- or the secret of our success."

No matter what a presidential -- or for that matter a congressional -- candidate promises in a campaign, the reality is governing is not a solo act. The White House, Congress and Supreme Court are co-equals -- and not business partners at Bain.

To this point, Daley -- a co-chair of the Obama re-election campaign -- told me, "The CEO has control of your company . . . You don't have that with the president, the Congress and the Supreme Court."

"Congress doesn't view itself as a board of directors of the president. They are equal branches in the eyes of the Constitution. That's a little different from a board and senior management of a company," Daley said.

Corn's Showdown -- a behind-the-scenes inside account of the Obama White House after Republicans won the House in 2010 -- dramatically illustrates the governing challenges Obama faced last year over debt-ceiling and budget negotiations with Congress.

"At the same time, Senate Democrats were worried that a free-lancing Daley might hand Boehner more cuts than they fancied and undermine their negotiating posture," Corn wrote.

"They may have been worried that I was ceding territory, but I wasn't ceding anything that wasn't authorized by the entire White House," Daley told me. "That's not my style." It was "ill-founded worry by people who worry too much about the White House and free-lancing."

WASHINGTON--The departure of former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley was lamented in one of the parodies at the Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner on Saturday night.

The 127th annual dinner of the club--disclosure, I am a member--featured Defense Secretary Leon Panetta representing the White House, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaking for the Republicans and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, delivering the Democratic address.

Panetta headlined in place of President Barack Obama--who landed in South Korea on Saturday for a summit on nuclear security and non-proliferation as well as bi-lateral meetings with the leaders of Russia, Turkey and China.

The speeches are in addition to skits by clubs members--many in elaborate costumes--who lampoon Democratic and Republican figures in the news.

A song about Daley, now back in Chicago--to the tune of "Won't you come home Bill Bailey"--asked, "Why'd you go home, Bill Daley? Why'd you go home? Guess you ran out of time. You came to fix Obama's Biz-ness-man blues. But he paid you no mind. Once the campaign got started He moved far left. He practik-ly joined Occ-u-py. We know you not to blame....Bill Daley won't you please come back?"

With the dinner coming during the GOP presidential primary, rivals Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were gently mocked.

Santorum was spoofed in a song to the tune of "Onward Christian Soldiers." Gingrich's moon landing plans were poked at in "Fly Newt to the Moon," a take-off on the Frank Sinatra classic. The smash Broadway hit, "The Book of Mormon" was the inspiration for a Romney song, a Gridiron version of "I Believe."

The 650 guests at the dinner include media executives, journalists, White House officials, cabinet members, military leaders, ten ambassadors, five governors, three senators, eight House members, and three mayors, including Chicago's Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel was a guest of the Chicago Sun-Times.

President Barack Obama comes home Friday to haul millions of dollars into his re-election warchest at two events, both at the Palmer House Hilton:

Lunch event sliding scale:

$2,500.00 Lunch Guest, $10,000.00 Preferred Seating, Campaign Discussion and Preferred Seating, $25,000.00 Host, Table Captain, $35,800.00 Luncheon Chair.

At a smaller roundtable, top price, $35,800 featuring:

Penny Pritzker,CEO of PSP Capital Partners Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois Emil Jones Jr., former President of the Illinois State Senate, David Axelrod, Senior Strategist to Obama re-election campaign Bill Daley, former White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago

The proceeds from both events go to the Obama Victory Fund 2012, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee.


Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Grammy winner John Legend headline a March 20 major donor Obama re-election fund-raiser in Chicago.

The fund-raiser--on Illinois primary day-- features what is billed as a "private perfomance" by Legend with a discussion afterwards led by former Obama White House domestic policy chief Melody Barnes.

WASHINGTON--The Obama for America campaign today released a preview of a 17-minute documentary-style film about the Obama presidency which includes interviews with key Chicago figures: Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama's former chief of staff, David Axelrod, his top strategist, economic advisor Austan Goolsbee and First Lady Michelle.

From OFA: "Obama for America today released the trailer for a new documentary by award-winning director Davis Guggenheim titled the "Road We've Traveled". The documentary is narrated by Tom Hanks and includes appearances by Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Elizabeth Warren and others. The film is an opportunity to put into perspective the challenges the country faced when President Obama took office, the tough decisions he made in the face of those challenges and the progress we've made in rebuilding an economy that's meant to last and strengthening and securing our nation.

"Supporters are encouraged to sign up, building our online and on the ground support. They will be able to attend premieres of the documentary on March 15 at Obama for America field offices across the country. Following the premiere, senior strategist David Axelrod will be taking Q&A from supporters using Adobe Connect."

WASHINGTON---The Obama campaign is tapping six from Chicago to be national co-chairs: Bill Daley, Sen. Dick Durbin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Penny Pritzker, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Alan Solow.

Daley was announced as a co-chair after he submitted is resignation as President Barack Obama's chief of staff. Emanuel, who was Obama's first chief of staff, business woman Pritzker and attorney Solow already serve as advisors to the campaign.

Illinois Democrats Durbin and Schakowsky as were Pritzker and Solow were among Obama's earliest backers when he launched his 2008 White House bid.

National co-chairs will serve as campaign surrogates helping fund-raise; they will also help to engage and mobilize voters. The campaign will have about 30 co-chairs.

Not on the list--Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., (D-Ill.) who was a co-chair of Obama's 2008 campaign. Jackson is locked in a re-election primary battle with former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) where Obama is backing Jackson.

Chicago Sun-Times City Hall reporter Fran Spielman takes us inside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's inner circles HERE. David Axelrod remains one of his closest confidants; Emanuel tells Spielman they talk three or four times a week and most of their conversations are about President Obama's re-election.

"That's much to my chagrin. I would like to talk about me," Emanuel told Spielman.

Others in the Emanuel inner political circle via Spielman: "John Kupper, the former Axelrod partner who worked on all of Emanuel's campaigns and helped him seize Democratic control of the U.S. House; Bill Daley, who succeeded Emanuel as White House chief of staff, and political consultant Peter Giangreco.

"Emanuel even keeps the phone lines burning to three Washington D.C. heavyweights: political consultants James Carville and Paul Begala and Bruce Reed, chief-of-staff to Vice-President Joe Biden, with whom Emanuel co-authored a book."

WASHINGTON--White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley last day is coming up: he steps down at the end of this week, returning to Chicago on Friday.

Recommended reading: Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Alter on the resignation of White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.

Alter: "The resignation of William M. Daley as President Barack Obama's White House chief of staff brings to mind the words of David Wilhelm when he left his post as chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1994: "I'm going back to Chicago where they stab you in the front."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday applauded Bill Daley's tenure as President Obama's chief of staff, the day after Obama announced Daley would be stepping down. Daley replaced Emanuel as chief of staff when Emanuel departed to run for mayor. Chicago Sun-Times City Hall reporter Fran Spielman has the story HERE.

My column on Daley's earlier-than-expected departure:

White House chief of staff Bill Daley is resigning, President Obama announced on Monday, and will be departing 10 months earlier than expected. Daley will be replaced by Budget Director Jack Lew.

Daley told me he will return to Chicago sometime near the end of the month, after Obama's Jan. 24 State of the Union speech and the federal budget rollout. Daley will become a co-chair of Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, based in Chicago.

President Obama -- who hits Chicago Wednesday for three fund-raising events -- discussed the move in brief comments from the White House, flanked by Daley and Lew.
"I didn't accept Bill's decision right away. In fact, I asked him to take a couple of days to make sure that he was sure about this. But in the end, the pull of the hometown we both love -- a city that's been synonymous with the Daley family for generations -- was too great. Bill told me that he wanted to spend more time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and he felt it was the right decision," Obama said.

Daley offered his resignation letter, dated Jan. 3, after returning from a holiday vacation in Mexico. Daley wrote to Obama, "I have been honored to be a small part of your administration. It is time for me to go back to the city I love."

Daley, a former commerce secretary in the Clinton administration and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, followed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the chief of staff job after Emanuel stepped down to run for mayor.

A former JPMorgan Chase Bank executive when Obama tapped him in January 2010, Daley was hired in part to be a bridge between the White House, the business community and the Republicans in Congress -- a job that eventually ceased to exist as relations continued to fray, especially with Republicans.

Daley was not especially close to Obama but shared in common friendships with political strategist David Axelrod and Emanuel.

By clearing out in a few weeks rather than staying through what is expected to be a tough re-election battle, Daley leaves while the Obama administration is on a high note. Axelrod told me Daley steps down after a "long and challenging" year but during a period where "arrows [are] pointing up."

Last year, Daley was put in an uncomfortable position within the White House -- he was the target of internal sniping and infighting that led to a series of Washington stories. Some reports were fed by staffers who preferred Emanuel's frenzied, chaotic micromanagement to Daley's corporate style. Other stories came from Capitol Hill, where Daley had a frosty relationship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The beginning of the end for Daley started in October, when he gave a candid interview with Politico's Roger Simon, where he blamed Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress. Later in October, Daley told NBC5 Chicago that he was going to stay only through the November 2012, election.
In November, Daley was demoted and Obama tapped Pete Rouse, who was Obama's Illinois Senate chief of staff, to run day-to-day operations. Daley continued to handle the broader management and strategic chores, with Obama in the Situation Room and for the Presidential Daily Brief and, at the end of the day, huddling with Obama for the "Daily Wrap."

White House chief of staff Bill Daley, whose resignation was announced by President Obama on Monday, will be a co-chair of his 2012 re-election campaign, based in Chicago.

"He's got a ton of political experience, knowledge and contacts and we look forward to leveraging those assets and working closely together to re-elect the President this year," a member of the Obama team told the Chicago Sun-Times.

A spokesman for First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday morning would not confirm whether Mrs. Obama would return home to Chicago for Maggie Daley's funeral mass--but the lack of a denial suggests something may be in the works. White House chief of staff Bill Daley, of course, is Mrs. Daley's brother-in-law. White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett is planning on attending the mass for Mrs. Daley as is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

UPDATE Education Sec. Arne Duncan also at the funeral

UPDATE Vice President Joe Biden, Jill Biden and Mrs. Obama flew to Chicago for the Maggie Daley funeral.

UPDATED Mrs. Obama will be attending the funeral. She is trying not to draw much attention to herself in order to not be a distraction.

UPDATED: The FAA is is imposing flight restrictions at O'Hare Airport this morning because of a "VIP movement."
Read the flight restriction notice HERE.

In October, 2010, Mrs. Obama and Jarrett were in Chicago for the funeral of Bishop Arthur Brazier.

WASHINGTON--White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley's role is changing; he's handing day-to-day operations over to presidential counselor Pete Rouse; think of Daley as the CEO of the White House with Rouse now the Chief Operating Officer.

The Wall Street Journal's Carol Lee broke the story about "the recalibration of Mr. Daley's portfolio, agreed to by Mr. Obama." The report triggered a Washington guessing game Tuesday about Daley. In a White House with plenty of work to go around, Rouse's role evolved in part because he was not being utilized all the ways he could be, I've gleaned from talking to White House and other sources.

The change was made at Daley's suggestion as the White House, one year from election day, faces 52 tough weeks ahead.

Rouse's role, I gather from sources, is to add discipline and structure to the operation. He will tee up decision making for Daley and help streamline the process.

Four people are in Obama's inner ring: Daley, Rouse, who holds the singular title of counselor to the president and senior advisors David Plouffe and Valerie Jarrett. Plouffe and Jarrett each have line responsibilities, where until this week, Rouse did not. Plouffe handles politics and communications and Jarrett's portfolio includes the Office of Public Engagement and intergovernmental affairs.

Daley at Monday' senior staff meeting formalized a job Rouse that he had been filling for many weeks--a role, I'm told, he also played at times for Rahm Emanuel when he was Obama's chief of staff. The impatient Emanuel would turn to Rouse for help in coming up with a solution when he did not have the time or bandwidth to deal with a problem.

Rouse, who served as interim chief of staff after Emanuel left to run for Chicago mayor, was Obama's senate chief of staff and before that held the same position for former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) Rouse wrote the strategy plan that helped vault Obama from the Senate to the White House.

Rouse is an insider's insider--an internal coordinator-- who almost never surfaces in public and rarely travels with the president. Daley already handles external affairs, accompanied Obama to the G-20 in France last week and is expected to be with him at the APEC meeting in Hawaii this weekend.

Of Rouse's strengths, a main one at this time--with ferocious GOP opposition in Congress-- is his longstanding relations on Capital Hill. It's no secret now that Daley's relations with lawmakers, especially with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.), need improvement. Daley and the number two Senate leader--Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)--have a strong working partnership.

Daley is not the obsessive Emanuel who worked out in the House gym and would be phoning lawmakers--even if they complained later about his browbeating calls. A rap on Daley is that some lawmakers feel out of the loop.

Rouse steps up as the White House is focusing more and more on issuing streams of executive orders--taking actions that do not need congressional approval. On any day in the White House there are many voices who want to be heard: cabinet members, staffers and members of Congress. Rouse will be the listener.

Daley "retains obviously all of his authority and ultimate responsibility for the White House operations and White House staff," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at Tuesday's briefing. "... it's less about transferring duties than it is about adding responsibilities without subtracting any from anybody else."

Unlike Emanuel, who thrives in chaos, Daley likes a more corporate structure. Rouse is getting a more defined role so he and Daley each can play to their respective strengths.

WASHINGTON--White House chief of staff Bill Daley let loose in an interview with Politico's Roger Simon, saying when it came to the man who held the job before him, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel--well, he was not as "beloved" as people now say. Emanuel was also an aggressive leaker--and Daley isn't, Daley told Simon.

Daley and his brother, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley made Rahm--he got his first boost in the political business by raising money for Daley's 1989 mayoral campaign.

Simon, a former Chicago Sun-Times columnist, talked to Daley in his White House office.

Read the entire Simon column HERE.

Excerpt from Simon interview with Daley...

People are asking if you are as good as Rahm, I (Simon) say to Daley.

"It's pathetic, isn't it?" Daley responds, laughing.

Rahm wouldn't say it, I say.

"Rahm would say it!" Daley says. "Maybe I missed it -- I wasn't here the first two years -- but I don't think Rahm was as beloved (as people now say.)"

Rahm was famous for calling reporters, do you call reporters? I ask.

"I call; I'm not as aggressive leaking and stroking," Daley says. "I'm not reflecting on Rahm, but I'm not angling for something else, you know? Rahm is a lot younger [Emmanuel is 51], and he knew he was going to be doing something else in two years or four years or eight years, and I'm in a different stage. I'm not going to become the leaker in chief."

You've got others for that, I say.

"Yeah, and hopefully in some organized leaking fashion," Daley says, laughing. "I'm all for leaking when it's organized."

WASHINGTON--White House chief of staff Bill Daley's best day on the job was the Sunday when Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces. The worse day was when negotiations failed for a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Daley commented during a session at the "Washington Ideas Forum" at the Newseum sponsored by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. Daley was interviewed Thursday Wednesday by Norah O'Donnell, CBS News chief White House correspondent.

On May 1, Daley was with Obama and other top officials in the White House situation room watching the raid by U.S. special forces of bin Laden's Abbottabad compound in Pakistan. Daley noted that he "may have been" the only person in the room who was not a national security specialist.

Daley revealed that on his first day on the job he learned about the compound in the "PDB"--a reference to the "President's Daily Brief," a top secret classified document.

A bi-partisan debt deal between Congress and the White House fell apart this summer. "We thought we were so close," Daley said. That was "probably the worse day" of his nine months on the job.

Daley also said that he talks regularly with the man who had the job before him--Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Daley was asked about reports in Ron Suskind's new book about the Obama White House about complaints of how top women were treated in the administration.

"I didn't even read the book, but I did hear that there were some issues early on under the predecessor of mine so I can dump on him for that," Daley quipped.

Bill Daley shrugging off stories

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WASHINGTON--White House chief of staff Bill Daley is shrugging off several recent stories raising questions about his tenure and comparing and contrasting his style to Rahm Emanuel--President Obama's former chief of staff, now mayor of Chicago.

A senior administration official told me Daley is telling "friends when he started the job that at best he would have six months before the typical Washington stories started running and he recently joked it looks like he got lucky and got an extra three months."

Daley, tapped in January for the job, on Monday traveled to New York with Obama for the United Nations General Assembly.

Politico's Bill Daley story is HERE

Chicago Magazine's Carol Felsenthal over-view on Daley is HERE

WASHINGTON--White House chief of staff Bill Daley is the subject of a long piece in Politico headlined "Bill Daley struggles to fix Barack Obama's slump," which also compares and contrasts Daley with Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff now Chicago's mayor.

The story is by Glenn Thrush, John Breshanhan and Amie Parnes and can be read HERE.

Excerpts from Politico....

On Daley and Congress..

"Daley's style is considerably more hands-off, people who work with him say, leaving much of the outreach to his able legislative affairs director Rob Nabors, Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling and budget chief Jack Lew, who all have decades of Hill experience."

On Emanuel...

"To be fair, Emanuel, who now terrifies and exhausts staffers in the Chicago mayor's office, was nobody's idea of a prototypical chief of staff, offering a flurry of ideas and criticisms, often absent any plan to actually implement them.
And he was no LBJ when it came to negotiating either, often willing to cut quick deals with conservative Democrats or Republicans rather than risk adverse consequences. That, in turn, put him at odds with many of his own party's tougher bargainers, especially then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a longtime ally who clashed with him repeatedly during Obama's first two years in office."

WASHINGTON -- Just before the Asian markets opened on Sunday night, President Obama announced a deal to raise the debt ceiling, avoiding what could have been a financial disaster come Monday morning.

I give Republicans credit for leveraging the debt ceiling vote -- they grabbed control of the agenda. "Big win, I think, for the Republicans. Don't tell the Democrats," a pithy Republican e-mailed me with a bottom-line analysis of who came out ahead.

Along the way, however, some GOP hard-liners could not take yes for an answer -- threatening our economy.

The Tea Party Republicans and other conservatives took the nation to the brink, pushing too close to the Aug. 2 default deadline for a deal that was not all that different than what had been on the table a few days ago.

The agreement -- with major spending reductions -- gives Republicans much of what they wanted while opening a rift with Democratic progressives for Obama because it puts cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid "entitlement" programs on the table while not at this time closing tax loopholes to generate more revenue.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- who had been adamant about not touching entitlements -- gave the deal a chilly reception, saying she will see "what level of support we can provide."

The House Democratic progressive caucus will meet Monday to study the proposals. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a progressive leader, told me she will have great difficulty backing a plan that cuts entitlements.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) -- the assistant majority leader -- has been taking heat from progressives because he has been regarded as one of them -- yet he has been willing to look at revamping entitlement programs.

"This deal is not perfect, nor the deal many of us would have made ourselves, but in the end and after weeks of partisan differences, both sides have come together and compromised to avoid an economic catastrophe," Durbin said in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, I talked with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) as the deal was taking shape as he emerged from the Senate chamber. "This was a 40-year culture of borrowing that changed in 40 days," Kirk said.

House Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) -- the freshman who has become a Tea Party leader -- whose profile soared during the past weeks of the debate over the deficit and debt ceiling -- announced Sunday he will vote against the bipartisan agreement.

"I have made it clear from day one that I will never vote in favor of a debt ceiling increase unless it fundamentally changes the way Washington, D.C., spends money. I believe the way to do that is by statutory spending caps and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution."

If the hard-liners keep voting no, they will undermine their clout.

The uncompromising conservatives -- those in the House Republican Study Group -- were "completely overreaching," Kirk said and will find themselves "vastly muted" with "limited influence going forward."

Kirk/Bill Daley

Kirk told me White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley has been reaching out to him -- the latest on Saturday. "We talked quite a bit. He just wanted advice [on] what would work."

Kirk said they have been discussing the situation "every three or four days."

"He's a Chicago guy and we trust each other and I always wanted to be a friend of the Daley family as much as possible."


I'm told by the White House Bill Daley scratched his reading to kids event set for today because of the ongoing debt ceiling stalemate.


WASHINGTON--White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley--taking a break from the ongoing negotiations to raise the debt ceiling--joins Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)--in reading children's books to students at Duncan's headquarters here on Tuesday. They will be joined by Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer," in a part of the event aimed at physical fitness, an offshoot of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program.

Target is handing out books and snacks and Nickelodeon is giving the kids cookbooks and pedometers.

Unusual disclaimer: From the Education Department: "The U.S. Department of Education does not endorse any products or services offered by either Target or Nickelodeon, and does not endorse the "Dora the Explorer" program."

On Sunday:

NBC's "Meet the Press" - White House Chief of Staff William Daley Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

CBS' "Face the Nation" - Daley; Dick Durbin, D-Ill. .

Fox News Sunday" - Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill.

WASHINGTON--Mayor Rahm Emanuel promoted Chicago as a host city for G-8 and NATO meetings in 2012 with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Chief of Staff Bill Daley, I reported on Wednesday. I asked a senior administration official for more details on how Chicago landed the meetings and it seems Emanuel greased the deal from the get-go. Obama announced the Chicago meetings on Wednesday night, during his speech about the Afghanistan troop draw down.

Background: Obama announced last December in Lisbon the U.S. would host the next NATO summit.

From a senior administration official: "Then, over the course of the next several months, we, I think, had conversations with a range of different cities. And Chicago, as a world-class international city, clearly possesses the ability to host a successful NATO summit. I would also note that they're going to also host the G8 summit around the same time next May. The mayor of Chicago is of course a well-known figure here, and I'm sure he'll be able to do a successful job in helping to oversee some of the preparations there.

"But really it's a decision that was made over the course of the last several months. We felt it was important to explore options beyond Washington, because often you have these things in the capital city. I think what we believe is important to do is to highlight other parts of America that represent the character of our people and that can make for interesting venues. So we did know that we wanted to go outside of Washington. And, again, Chicago clearly has a great capacity to host these types of events."

I asked if other cities were in competition and the senior administration official told me, "No, it wasn't really a bidding or a competition. I think -- so it wasn't like a very wide net that was cast. I think that we -- there were a number of discussions here about places, and Chicago emerged as a very natural fit, again, given its resources, given its diversity as an international city, and of course there was interest from Chicago and Mayor Emanuel and others in hosting these events. So it just very much solidified as a good fit over the course of the last several weeks, and I think we arrived at that decision within the last month.

"And we felt it was a good opportunity to announce it in conjunction with the President's announcement today because the NATO summit will be one of the next -- if we look out into the future in Afghanistan, we have this announcement, we have the Bonn Conference in Germany in December, which will be an important opportunity to assess the political situation in Afghanistan, and then the NATO summit in May will be the next big opportunity for the alliance to come together to assess the progress that's been made since Lisbon and to discuss the next phase of transition."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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