Jamie Dimon owns Barack Obama’s testicles. That’s the only explanation I can think of for why, rather than firing his JP Morgan Exec Chief of Staff for being incompetent, Obama simply shifted him over to serve as the public face of his Administration.
Ten months into his tenure as chief of staff, [Bill] Daley’s core responsibilities are shifting, following White House missteps in the debt-ceiling fight and in its relations with Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
On Monday, Mr. Daley turned over day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a veteran aide to President Obama, according to several people familiar with the matter. It is unusual for a White House chief of staff to relinquish part of the job.
The new set-up effectively makes Mr. Rouse the president’s inside manager and Mr. Daley his ambassador, roles that appear to better suit both men’s talents.
As you recall, Daley was hired as a sop to the banks, who thought endless bailouts weren’t enough bounty from this and the prior Administration and successfully demanded having one of their own in the White House gatekeeper position. And so, after fucking up the debt ceiling, and fucking up the introduction of Obama’s jobs push (and overseeing the passage of three trade agreements that will send jobs overseas), Daley has been moved into a figurehead role.
Here’s a snapshot of the kind of people whom Daley is sucking up to as “Ambassador”: the architect of the housing bubble-and-crash, the embodiment of corruption in the GSEs, and a guy who helped pass a law that will help his wife’s insurance company, only to leave to work for the Chamber of Commerce and a private equity firm.
Lately, Mr. Daley has been trying out his new role, deploying his back-slapping persona in Washington social circles. He recently held a private reception at his Ritz Carlton residence for a small group of D.C. elites, including former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, former Fanne Mae Chief Executive Jim Johnson and Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S.
Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D., Ind.) said an invitation to lunch with Mr. Daley in his West Wing office was the first time he had heard from him.
So at a time when Obama’s campaign wants to pretend he’s taking a tough line with the 1%, he’s refusing to fire 1%er Bill Daley when he proves to be incompetent. Does this mean the banksters will effectively retain their own personal gate-keeper?
And FWIW, I believe Pete Rouse was and will be the best of the three Chiefs of Staff Obama has had, so I approve of that move. Though I question the wisdom of making the move just in time for another government shutdown, which is due up in the next few weeks.