PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s chief of staff Bill Daley has resigned after less than a year in the job.
Bill Daley, a former Clinton administration official and a member of a Chicago political dynasty, made the surprise decision to stand down less than 12 months into a tenure which saw growing frustration as the President’s agenda stalled in Congress.
Speaking at the White House, the President said the resignation “was not easy news to hear” and that he only accepted it last week after asking Mr Daley to take a day to reconsider.
Mr Obama said that Mr Daley, 63, was leaving to return to Chicago and spend more time with his family but the former investment banker’s frustration with his role has long been public knowledge.
In an interview last October, Mr Daley said that the political and economic climate of the first three years of the Obama administration had been “brutal” and “very, very difficult”, adding: “On the domestic side both Democrats and Republicans have made it very difficult for the President to be anything like a chief executive.”
Soon after the interview, many of his day-to-day responsibilities were handed to Pete Rouse, another senior aide who had served as an interim chief of staff after Rahm Emanuel stepped down to run for Mayor of Chicago in 2010.
Mr Daley will stay in his position until the end of January, when he will be replaced by Jacob Lew, the current White House budget director.
Mr Lew, who worked in both the Clinton administration and as a deputy to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, will be Mr Obama’s third full-time chief of staff in three years, an unusually high rate of attrition even for one of Washington’s most demanding positions.
George W Bush had only two chiefs of staff spanning his eight years in the White House.
Although Mr Daley received much of the blame for the collapse of debt negotiations last year, Mr Obama praised him for his role in the killing of Osama bin Laden and orchestrating a temporary cut in payroll taxes and thanked him for his “extraordinary friendship and loyalty”.
He will continue to serve as co-chair of the president's re-election effort.