President Obama's decision to bring in Bill Daley, brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, as his new chief of staff is understandably ruffling the feathers of progressives around the country. Given Obama's most significant legislative accomplishments -- health care reform and an overhaul of financial regulations -- the move appears to signal a move to the right.
Daley recently told the New York Times that the Obama administration had "miscalculated" on health care and that it got the wrong message from the 2008 election when it moved to the "left." Daley also reportedly considered the move to set up a Consumer Protection Agency a bad idea. And as the Commerce Secretary in the Clinton administration, Daley, who is now an executive at JP Morgan Chase, worked to eliminate post-Enron accounting regulations. The blogger Greg Sargent noted that the issue with the selection of Daley isn't as much about his past positions, though those are certainly troubling. Rather, it shows a "faulty interpretation of Obama's first two years: That Obama governed from the left. ... But here's the thing: Daley is wrong. Obama didn't govern from the 'left.'"
Sadly, it seems that the message Obama took from the midterm elections was that he needed to bring in someone who would sympathize with Wall Street, oppose health care coverage for 30 million Americans, and fight consumer protections. If that's not enough to convince you that Daley's hiring is a move in the wrong direction, consider this: his brother thinks he'll be perfect for the job.