In a trade that made a lot of sense for Democrats, Chicago Mayor Richie Daley decided to take a powder as Mayor-for-Life in October 2010, while Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel succeeded Daley as mayor of the big, broken city by the lake.
The player to be named later in the trade was William Daley, Richie’s brother. Bill Daley took Emanuel’s place as chief of staff with the charge to be the White House’s bridge to the business community. The Obama administration was hoping that Daley’s business savvy would help them repair a rocky relationship with big business- and with Republicans.
It’s the kind of forward looking vision that less powerful dictators, like Moammar Gadhafi, could only hope for.
The Daleys, after all, made quite a life for themselves in Illinois peddling influence on both the right and the left, making sure everyone- Democrats and Republicans and “legitimate” businessmen who just happened to own garbage trucks, parking meters and the occasional, hidden, video poker machine- got their share.
But the trade now is officially a bust.
While Rahm cruised to an easy victory as head of the Democrat patronage army that today goes by the name of Chicago, there has been no cruising for Daley or Obama.
The trade was a bust for both Daley and the White House because Daley couldn’t do his job.
Between a GOP Congress that refused to cut deals and an Obama administration that refused to cut regulations, Daley had trouble dividing the spoils for Obama and Republicans. Turns out Congress doesn’t run on garbage trucks and parking meters.
So, the White House announced yesterday that Daley was leaving his post as chief of staff only one year after accepting the post. That he’s leaving in the middle of a presidential election year, tells you all you need to know about Chicago’s view of Obama’s chances on the second go ‘round.
I mean, they don’t call them wise guys for nothing.
Daley likely got tired of the left hand of Obama’s administration not knowing what the other, radical left hand was doing.
By June of last year the Washington Post reported that Daley couldn’t even defend the policies of the Obama administration.
At a meeting with business leaders, Daley could only offer a mea culpa for the administration’s anti-business and anti-jobs policies without promising any remediation.
From the Washington Post: