In an unusual move, Chief of Staff William M. Daley is turning over part of the day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse. Mr. Daley announced his intentions at the White House staff meeting on Monday, saying that his new role hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet; he explained, however, that he plans to focus more on managing relations with influential outsiders.
New Plan for Mr. Daley
The new plan, with Mr. Daley’s new portfolio, is intended to help in the coming year as Mr. Obama campaigns for re-election and governs. Basically, the new set-up will make Mr. Rouse the president’s manager and Mr. Daley more of an outside ambassador.
Last week, while being interviewed before the announcement, Mr. Daley said that,
“The president challenged us all to pick up our game after the summer, and I think we’re all trying to do that.”
Usually, the role of the chiefs of staffs has been to manage the day-to-day operations in the West Wing and to keep close tabs on the president and his needs. This shift in roles is quite unusual, and has raised many eyebrows in Washington. Mr. Daley, however, reassures the public that he will remain at the White House through the 2012 elections. As he said, “It’s been probably the best job I’ve ever had in spite of the difficulties of the times.”