William Daley Named White House Chief of Staff

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Former Commerce Secretary William Daley will become the next White House chief of staff, President Barack Obama announced Thursday.

Daley, 62, primarily has business experience, but has been appointed to prominent political positions in the past, including three years as former President Bill Clinton's Commerce Secretary.

"Few Americans can boast the breadth of experience that Bill brings to this job," Obama said as he made the announcement with Daley by his side. "But most of all, I know Bill to be somebody who cares deeply about this country."

Daley belongs to a family rooted in politics in Obama's hometown of Chicago. His father and brother, both named Richard, served as mayor.

Still, Daley hasn't been in the president's inner circle.

At a press conference about Chicago schools Thursday, Mayor Daley said his brother's appointment was not an example of a "Chicago mafia."

"[President George W. Bush] brought people from Texas. John F. Kennedy brought people from Massachusetts. Richard Nixon brought people from California," he explained. "Ronald Reagan brought people from California. Jimmy Carter brought people from Georgia. Bush brought people from Texas. Clinton brought people from Arkansas."

Daley will leave his post as a banking executive for JP Morgan Chase to run operations at the White House.

He replaces interim chief of staff Pete Rouse and President Obama's first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who stepped down last fall to run for Chicago mayor.

The latest job announcement came as Robert Gibbs prepares to leave his job as the president's chief spokesman.

Gibbs said he will step down as White House press secretary in early February, but will continue to help the president as an outside advisor.

"A lot of personnel decisions will get wrapped up in the next few days because the president and the team understand how much work there is to be done this year," Gibbs said.

Senior adviser David Axelrod will also leave his position after the State of the Union address on Jan. 25 to focus on Obama's re-election campaign.

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