President Obama has replaced Irish American Bill Daley as his chief of Staff. The shock announcement came in a 3pm press conference in the White House press room. Daley is brother of former Chicago mayor Richard Daley and son of the legendary Mayor Richard J. Daley
The White House said that Daley submitted his resignation to Mr. Obama last week, having discussed his future with his wife over the Christmas holiday. “It’s been a pretty frenetic year,” the official said. “He felt like it was a propitious time.”
However, there was immediate speculation that Daley had been pushed. The departure coincides with a new book by The New York Times writer, Jodi Kantor, which quotes first Lady Michelle Obama as stating that she did not like the Irish Catholic families like the Daleys, who ran Chicago.
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Author Jodi Kantor of the New York Times in her new book “The Obamas”, to be published this week, wrote that Michelle “particularly resented the way power in Illinois was locked up generation after generation by a small group of families, all white Irish Catholic -- the Daleys in Chicago, the Hynes and Madigans statewide".
Michelle Obama particularly resented the Irish influence when working in Chicago City Hall, for Mayor Richard Daley in the early 1990s Kantor writes.
She "disapproved of how closely Daley held power, surrounding himself with three or four people who seemed to let few outsiders in -- a concern she would echo years later with her own husband.” Kantor wrote.
Daley was Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton administration and a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland.
However, his time as Chief of Staff coincided with a steep plunge in polls by Obama and in November, Obama’s close aide Pete Rouse took over many of the duties.
“Obviously this was not easy news to hear,” Mr. Obama said, adding that he had asked Mr. Daley to reconsider his decision to go home to Chicago, but that “the pull of the hometown we both love, a city that’s been synonymous with the Daley family for generations, was too great.”
Daley has been replaced by Jacob Lew, a long time Washington insider and Democratic party figure.