Orthodox Jew Lew to Replace Daley as Obama’s White House Chief of Staff


jacob-lewPresident Obama announced today that William M. Daley, the White House chief of staff, is stepping down, after a frustrating year in which Mr. Daley struggled to find his footing in a ferociously partisan Washington. He will be replaced by Jacob J. Lew, the budget director.

Mr. Obama, who recruited Mr. Daley a year ago, announced the departure at 3 p.m. in the State Dining Room. It is the most significant shakeup yet in the Obama White House, which has prided itself on a lack of internal drama, with a tightly-knit circle of senior advisors playing a dominant role.

Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesJacob J. “Jack” Lew has extensive experience in the White House and on Capitol Hill, having served in two administrations and for a Speaker of the House.

Mr. Daley submitted his resignation to Mr. Obama last week, a senior administration official said, having discussed his future with his wife over the Christmas holiday and concluding that this was the right time to leave. “It’s been a pretty frenetic year,” said this person. “He felt like it was a propitious time.”

His successor, Mr. Lew, is a well-regarded veteran of the White House budget office, State Department and Wall Street. With his long experience on Capitol Hill, officials said he will be able to forge better ties to Congress.

Mr. Daley, an affable former banker who is the son and brother of legendary Chicago mayors, proved to be an awkward fit on the Obama team. Recruited largely for his deal-making skills and ties to the business world, he failed to help his boss strike a huge budget deal with Republicans in the House.

In the wake of that failed negotiation, which led to months of acrimony between the White House and Congress, some of Mr. Daley’s duties were transferred to Pete Rouse, a low-profile former Congressional aide with closer ties to the president.

The news of Mr. Daley’s departure was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

That Mr. Daley was frustrated by Washington was no secret. In October, he told a Chicago TV station that he planned to leave the White House in January 2013, at the end of Mr. Obama’s first term. It was not clear what precipitated his decision to leave now.

During his tenure, Mr. Daley had come under criticism for not adequately cultivating leaders in Congress. Some Democrats bridled when he publicly criticized Democrats, as well as Republicans, for being responsible for the gridlock in Washington.

{The Caucus-NY Times/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Friday 4 PM afternoon (wintertime) the Oval Office will shut down for 25 hours.
    (No silly comments from Panetta & company for a whole day, what a relief!)

  2. To those who are worried about Lew’s frumkite: throughout our history we have had frum yiddin who were close to the government starting with Yoseph Hatzadik. Worry about our own frumkite.

  3. Holchin lekarkiyaos ulitartiyaos lefakeach al iskei rabim bashabbos. He will probably have to work on shabbos but allactual melacha can be done by an aino yehudi.

  4. When he worked for Clinton, his phone once rang on Shabbos, and he wouldn’t pick up. Clinton began talking on the answering machine, telling him to pick up, but he wouldn’t.

    His Rav later told him that an important call from the President is likely pikuach nefesh, and he can answer the phone on Shabbos.

  5. The Orthodox Jewish part means nothing to Obama.

    What does mean something to him is that Lew headed up Citi Banks division which made billions off the mortgage crisis.

    Obama learned from Bush to leave the White House with greater personal wealth than you came in, and leave America a mess.

  6. @12? Really? If you really think a President picked a chief of staff based on how it would play in the frum community, you should stop your naval gazing and realize that Benei Torah amount to less than .1% of all Americans and probably aren’t voting for this guy even if his Vice President was a Ben Torah (and he knows it!). Reb Lew was picked because he’s the best man for the job in Obama’s opinion, not because he’s a frum yid.