Remarks by the President on the Resignation of Chief of Staff Bill Daley
State Dining Room
The White House
January 9, 2012
3:02 P.M. EST
     THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Hope you all had a good weekend.
     Last week, my Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, informed me that after spending time reflecting with his family over the holidays, he decided it was time to leave Washington and return to our beloved hometown of Chicago.
     Obviously this was not easy news to hear.  And I didn’t accept Bill’s decision right away.  In fact, I asked him to take a couple of days to make sure that he was sure about this.  But in the end, the pull of the hometown we both love -- a city that’s been synonymous with the Daley family for generations -- was too great.  Bill told me that he wanted to spend more time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and he felt it was the right decision.
     One of the things that made it easier was the extraordinary work that he has done for me during what has been an extraordinary year.  Bill has been an outstanding Chief of Staff during one of the busiest and most consequential years of my administration.
     We were thinking back, just a year ago this weekend, before he was even named for the job, Bill was in the Situation Room getting updates on the shooting in Tucson.  On his very first day, Bill took part in a meeting where we discussed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad.  This was all before he even had time to unpack his office.
     Over the last year, he’s been intimately involved in every decision surrounding the end of the war in Iraq and our support of the people of Libya as they fought for their freedom.  He was instrumental in developing the American Jobs Act and making sure taxes didn’t go up on middle-class families.  He helped us reach an agreement to reduce the deficit by over $2 trillion.  And he played a central role in passing historic trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.  Given his past record of service as Secretary of Commerce, he was invaluable in all these negotiations.
     So no one in my administration has had to make more important decisions more quickly than Bill.  And that’s why I think this decision was difficult for me.  Naturally, when Bill told me his plans to go back to Chicago, I asked him who I thought could fill his shoes.  He told me that there was one clear choice, and I believe he’s right.  So today I’m pleased to announce that Jack Lew has agreed to serve as my next Chief of Staff.
     Let me begin, first of all, by thanking Ruth for allowing Jack to serve in what I know is one of the most difficult jobs in Washington.  But Jack has had one of the other most difficult jobs in Washington.  For more than a year, Jack has served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  As anyone who’s been following the news lately can tell you, this is not an easy job. 
     During his first tour at OMB under President Clinton, Jack was the only budget director in history to preside over budget surpluses for three consecutive years.  And over the last year, he has helped strengthen our economy and streamline the government at a time when we need to do everything we can to keep our recovery going.
     Jack’s economic advice has been invaluable and he has my complete trust, both because of his mastery of the numbers, but because of the values behind those numbers.  Ever since he began his career in public as a top aide to Speaker Tip O’Neill, Jack has fought for an America where hard work and responsibility pay off, a place where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same rules.  And that belief is reflected in every decision that Jack makes.
     Jack also has my confidence on matters outside the borders.  Before he served at OMB for me, Jack spent two years running the extremely complex and challenging budget and operations process for Secretary Clinton at the State Department, where his portfolio also included managing the civilian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And over the last year, he has weighed in on many of the major foreign policy decisions that we’ve made.
     So there is no question that I’m going to deeply miss having Bill by my side here at the White House.  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.  And here in Washington, I have every confidence that Jack will make sure that we don’t miss a beat and continue to do everything we can to strengthen our economy and the middle class and keep the American people safe.
     So I want to thank, once again, Bill for his extraordinary service, but also his extraordinary friendship and loyalty to me.  It’s meant a lot.  And I want to congratulate Jack on his new role.  I know he is going to do an outstanding job, so thank you.
     Thank you, everybody.
END           3:07 P.M. EST

NOTE: On Nov. 8, 2011 the Wall Street Journal reported, "On Monday [Nov. 7], Mr. Daley turned over day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a veteran aide to President Obama..."

Remarks by the President Announcing William M. Daley as White House Chief of Staff
East Room
The White House
January 6, 2011

2:29 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Please have a seat, everybody.  Happy New Year.  Last October, when my former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel departed to pursue other opportunities in Chicago, I asked Pete Rouse, one of my most trusted aides, to step into the breach and lead us through a very difficult time.  And I also asked Pete to help us think about how the White House should be structured and run over the next two years.  
Thanks in no small part to his efforts, a period that everybody thought would be one of retrenchment turned out to be one of great progress for our country.  And Pete’s leadership is all the more remarkable when you consider that when I first met him and asked him to lead my Senate staff, he told me in that gruff voice of his that his strong inclination was to leave government.  (Laughter and applause.)  The reason everybody is applauding is because they’ve heard him say that every day -- (laughter) -- they’ve heard him say that every day for the last six years.  And yet, each time I’ve asked him to accept one more assignment, he’s saddled up and he’s taken the job.  And it’s fair to say that I would not be where I am today without his extraordinary counsel.
Pete didn’t volunteer to serve as interim Chief of Staff.  He made it clear that that was not his preference.  But he accepted the responsibility, and as he oversaw our strategy during the lame duck session of Congress, he also was working to develop a structure and a plan for the next two years that I believe will serve the White House, and more importantly the American people, very well.  One of those assignments was providing me recommendations for candidates to serve as Chief of Staff moving forward.
As part of that process, today I am proud to announce the appointment of an experienced public servant, a devoted patriot, my friend, fellow Chicagoan Bill Daley, to serve as my Chief of Staff.  (Applause.)
Few Americans can boast the breadth of experience that Bill brings to this job.  He served as a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet as Commerce Secretary.  He took on several other important duties over the years on behalf of our country.  He’s led major corporations.  He possesses a deep understanding of how jobs are created and how to grow our economy.  And needless to say, Bill also has a smidgen of awareness of how our system of government and politics works.  You might say it is a genetic trait.  (Laughter.)  
But most of all, I know Bill to be somebody who cares deeply about this country, believes in its promise and considers no calling higher and more important than serving the American people.  He will bring his tremendous experience, his strong values and forward-looking vision to this White House.  I’m convinced that he’ll help us in our mission of growing our economy and moving America forward.  And I very much look forward to working with Bill in the years to come.
Before I ask Bill to say a few words, I should also confess that I have prevailed once again on Pete’s sense of duty -- or sense of guilt, I’m not sure which -- and I’m grateful that he has agreed to one more tour of duty as my counselor for the next two years.  (Applause.)  
     As you might have noticed, people like Pete.  (Laughter.)  He is a unique and indispensable asset to me and to this administration.  I cannot imagine life here without him, and I told him so.  And I’m delighted that we’re able to keep him a little bit longer.
     I’ll be making further announcements in the days and weeks ahead, and I am absolutely confident that we will have a great team that’s equal to America’s task in the years to come.  But with that, what I’d like to do is to introduce my new Chief of Staff, Bill Daley.  (Applause.)
     MR. DALEY:  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Mr. President.  (Applause.)
     Thank you very much, Mr. President, Mr. Vice President.  You have honored me and my family by giving me an opportunity to serve you and to serve our nation.  
     Fifty years ago this month I visited the White House with my parents and my brothers and sisters to visit a young President who went on to show great strength, leadership and vision in the face of enormous challenges in those times.
     You, Mr. President, are proving your strength, your leadership, your vision during a most difficult time for our nation and for the world.  You have also shown through your example that public service is an honorable calling, and I am pleased to answer your call.
     I look forward to working with the wonderful staff which you have assembled, and I know my job will be made easier by the great work and direction of Pete Rouse, the direction and great work he has provided over these past couple of months, and the President talked about the enormous successes under Pete’s watch.
     Pete, too, has dedicated his life to public service and to our nation, and I’m grateful for his efforts, and I am proud to call him my colleague.  I assure you, Mr. President, as they have done in the last two years, that this team will not let you down, nor the nation.  
Thank you very much for this extreme honor.  (Applause.)

2:35 P.M. EST

E-MAIL from White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley via The Washington Post
January 27, 2011

Today, I am pleased to announce a number of important White House personnel decisions. I believe these decisions will bring greater clarity to our structure and roles and will enhance coordination and collaboration among us. I am excited about these changes and I look forward to working with all of you - those in existing roles as well as those filling new roles - in the weeks and months ahead. We have a great team.

I want to thank Pete Rouse for his counsel and leadership in this effort. My mission is to get the most out of the great talent that President Obama has brought to the White House so that we can all help him effectively serve and lead the American people.

Below are the names and titles of those assuming new roles:

• Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy (National Economic Council)

• Jay Carney, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary

• Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor

• Nancy-Ann DeParle, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy

• David Lane, Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Chief of Staff

• Alyssa Mastromonaco, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

• Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs

• Emmett Beliveau, Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Chief of Staff

• Jon Carson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement

• Danielle Crutchfield, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling and Advance

• David Cusack, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Advance

• Mike Strautmanis, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor for Strategic Engagement to the Senior Advisor

• Jessica Wright, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling

• Brian Deese, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council

Some of you may have heard that Phil Schiliro's intention was to leave the White House at the end of the last Congress. Phil has made extraordinary contributions to the President's success, and I've asked him to slow his departure in order to lend his wise counsel and guidance in the transition period ahead.

I am looking forward to collaborating with all of you. Effective collaboration requires a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, so that we can hold each other accountable for the duties we've each undertaken. In coming days, I hope to clarify further the roles each of our offices needs to play, so we can continue to work together in the highly productive way the that we must.

I want to thank each of you for your hard work and for your commitment to serving the President and American people. We've got a lot of important work ahead of us.