It looks like the “Chicago Way” will continue with William Daley taking the White House Chief of Staff position formerly held by Rahm Emanuel. Daley is a particularly poor choice because he represents the nexus of big government, big business and the left-wing activist groups they enable and bankroll.
Daley is not a “centrist,” nor is he “pro business,” except when he is getting a piece of the action. Daley has carried the title of “Midwest Chairman” of JPMorgan Chase but he is not a banker or a businessman. He is a broker of influence. That is why JPMorgan Chase hired him in the first place.
It would be tempting to say that this appointment underscores how close Obama is to bailed-out Wall Street, but I believe the reality is far worse. Daley straddles the worlds of corporate boards and bare-knuckle Chicago politics. From his new position, he will no doubt make sure that the banks and companies in other key industries stay under the political control of their Washington masters.
When government exercises such heavy control over the private sector, tribute is usually expected. Cozy dealings and corruption are inevitable.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon used to brag about his White House influence and his contacts with the Chicago crowd around Obama. The New York Times called him “Obama’s favorite banker.” Now such connections don’t look so good and Dimon is trying to distance himself from Obama.
Daley also served as Chairman of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, which steers millions of dollars to a host of liberal and anti-capitalist causes. Under Daley, the Foundation bankrolled ACORN affiliates before such support purportedly ended in 2008.