A new year brings new changes to key members of the White House leadership. Today, President Obama announced that chief of staff William Daley will be leaving the White House to spend more time with his family in Chicago. Daley will be replaced by current Office of Management and Budget director Jacob “Jack” Lew.
The news comes after months of speculation that Daley would leave closer to the end of the president’s first term. In fact, the president said he initially declined Daley’s resignation, telling him to instead take a few days to think about the decision.
“But in the end, the pull of Chicago won out,” President Obama said.
He said that Daley had been involved in a number of pivotal events for the administration, from the end of the War in Iraq to historic trade agreements. He then thanked Daley for his service, friendship and loyalty over the years.
For days to come, people will raise more questions about exactly why Daley decided that now was the time to leave.
Daley’s departure has already sparked criticism from Republicans.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement reacting to the staff changes, saying, “Nearly three quarters of America believes our country is going in the wrong direction and President Obama has spent the past three years implementing policies that have made it worse. Supposedly hired to bridge the divide between President Obama and America’s job creators, Bill Daley found himself trying to defend the indefensible in Obama’s failed economic policies.”
Obama said, “There’s no question I will deeply miss having Bill by my side. But as he will soon find out, Chicago is only a phone call away, and I’m going to be using that phone number quite a bit. I plan to continue to seek Bill’s advice and counsel on a whole range of issues in the months and years to come.”
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(Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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