President Obama chose William Daley as his new chief of staff yesterday, replacing Rahm Emanuel, who is leaving to run for mayor of Chicago… a job currently held by Daley’s brother Richard. It’s comforting to know there will be no net loss of Chicago politics in the White House.
The phantasmal cloud of “Hope and Change” that hung over the Obama presidential campaign required an astonishing degree of deliberate ignorance from his supporters. He was, after all, a product of the corrupt Chicago machine. The idea that he would somehow transcend the insular, carnivorous nature of that city’s politics was absurd. Far from illuminating the White House with fresh new ideas and youthful idealism, Obama has hauled a string of Windy City operators and tired old hacks to Washington.
The emerging media narrative instructs Republicans to be cheered by the Daley appointment, because he’s a “business guy.” When one of the businesses in question is Fannie Mae, no one should be comforted. That’s like boarding a cruise ship and learning your captain’s extensive experience includes the final voyage of the Titanic.
Daley is also lauded for his roles at J.P. Morgan and the Chamber of Commerce, both of which have as much to do with crony corporatism as free-market capitalism. The media is basically telling us to get excited about this guy because he worked for a couple of organizations the lunatic Left hates. Let me know when we’re talking about someone who has actually made a payroll, and managed a business with no influence over the rules it had to live under.
The White House Chief of Staff is not technically a policy-making position, but everyone understands the appointee will spend a lot of time discussing policy with the President, so Daley’s selection is supposed to send various signals about the President’s agenda. We’re way past the point where we need any coded signals from this White House. If the President really plans to move dramatically to the Right and begin taking economic growth seriously, nothing but his actions will convince a public that long ago stopped buying into his marketing efforts. He’s wasting his time, and insulting our intelligence, by asking us to accept a Chicago crony as the hero of an Ayn Rand novel.