Bill Daley, President Obama’s chief-of-staff, has been serving in the job for several weeks now. And how is he doing?
No one is saying.
And honestly, that is the way it should be. The President’s chief of staff is first and foremost, the President’s gatekeeper. He can be a confidant. And sometimes a friend. The chief-of-staff sometimes has policy views that he shares, but while serving should only share them with the President.
And an effective chief-of-staff keeps the focus on the President, not himself.
I asked the question how is he doing. In my view Bill Daley is performing superbly. Bill Daley is performing the way a chief-of-staff is intended to perform. He should be seen and not heard. And if possible, he should not even be seen. The only person that should feel his presence is the President of the United States and all those in the White House that reports directly to him.
If you want to know what Bill Daley is doing, just watch the President. Naming Jeff Immelt to his outside panel of economic advisers has Bill Daley’s stamp written all over it. Immelt will patch up support in the business community that has been sorely lacking the last two years. Immelt replaces Paul Volker.
The changes signal what the White House describes as “a new phase of our recovery,” a shift from crisis to job creation. They come as Mr. Obama has been working hard to repair his frayed relations with the business community. Mr. Immelt, who was a member of the original board, has been a frequent presence by the president’s side in recent months, as Mr. Obama has sought to spotlight his efforts on behalf of American companies overseas.
He was with Mr. Obama when the president traveled to India in November. During a stop in Mumbai, the White House announced a string of business deals between India and American companies, including a $750 million order from India’s Reliance Power Ltd. for steam turbines manufactured by General Electric.
And Mr. Immelt was with the president again this week during the visit of President Hu Jintao of China. The G.E. executive attended a high-level meeting Mr. Obama convened with business leaders and Mr. Hu. He was also a guest at Wednesday night’s state dinner in honor of the Chinese leader.
On the Stop the Repeal front, it is obvious the strategy of the White House toward the recent vote to repeal of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). Let them waste their time. Oh, you will never hear those words out of anyone from the White House. We hear little whispers like “Shouldn’t they be working on jobs?” But never a big statement.
Yes, Bill Daley is just what the doctor ordered for this young President who is now on a path to greatness. And I would be remiss to mention that Rahm Emanuel, during his tumultuous term as chief-of-staff, was everything that Bill Daley is not. And enough said about Rahm Emanuel.
Sure, you can yell at me about the lack of progressive movement. Let me just say one thing: President Barack Obama need to get reelected in 2012 and this is the way to accomplish that mission. And once that is accomplished, we can go back to making moves in the progressive direction, like possibly improvement in the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). And that should be our mission.
Think about it. The rest of this year, Republicans are going to be beating each other up in places like Iowa and New Hampshire. Setting up campaign offices throughout those states. I want a front row ticket for the events where Republicans are beating up on each other. The Republican primaries and caucuses will dominate the headlines, and not in a good way. While President Barack Obama will have the platform of the Presidency, guided by Bill Daley, Pete Rouse, and others, the Republicans will be calling each other names and writing the script for the Presidential General election.
Think of it, Governor Tim Pawlenty criticizing Sarah Palin for being Sarah Palin. Former Governor Mike Huckabee bashing Pawlenty. Newt Gingrich bound to say something silly. And everybody beating on Mitt Romney, who failed last time.
And my ultimate dream come true, aside from reelecting Barack Obama as President.
Nancy Pelosi once again Speaker of the House, replacing the Weeper of the House, John Boehner.
If you don’t dream it, it can’t happen. Let’s all dream. In early 2000, I once dreamed that this obscure state senator from Hyde Park could become President of the United States. And by the way, Barack Obama lost that race for Congress that year decisively, but the dream never died.
John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books.