Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bill Daley, won't you please go home?

Sadly, this time the rumormongers were right and President Obama did indeed choose Bill Daley as his new Chief of Staff. My initial response was to agree with Ezra Klein. It's a strange choice and it's a mystery why a Bankster and Big Business fav, who hates the liberal agenda and has pretty harshly criticized the President's signature achievements has any support among liberal types, particularly Howard Dean of all people, who endorsed the pick.

To be clear I don't like it any better than the legion of commenters currently weighing in on the internets. But in mulling it over, it does make a kind of perverse sense.

If you think of it as the Chief of Staff being the President's enforcer, rather than maker or infuencer of policy, who better than a Chicago Daley to do the enforcing? And yes, this appointment will certainly set up a tiresome round of punditry declaring that Obama finally realized he was hijacked by the "far left" and that he needs to be more centrist. But let's face it, as a practical matter, Obama has already moved so far to the right that it seems rather unlikely Daley will have much effect on his positions.

Seems to me this is more about the optics. In terms of his 2012 campaign, Obama wants to seen as moving to the right to capture those elusive Indy slogan voters who bought the "most liberal preznit evah" fiction hook, line and sinker. Daley will serve that purpose pretty well, as will the chattering class approval of his perceived "ephiphany" and the outrage of liberal commentators won't hurt that either.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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