Sneed: Bill Daley ‘has great respect for Obama’ but won’t hold back on TV gig
BY MICHAEL SNEED October 24, 2013 7:24PM
Updated: November 26, 2013 6:41AM
The Daley dossier . . .
Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, who was once President Obama’s top gatekeeper, is now a political wild card.
◆ The big question: How far will Daley open the White House door now that he has become the first White House chief of staff to become a TV political news contributor?
“Look, I have great respect for President Obama, but I’m going to say what’s on my mind,” Daley told Sneed shortly after his appearance on the CBS morning show Thursday hosted by his old friend, Charlie Rose.
“You can get 100 people to do talking points. I’m not going to do that,” said Daley, whose newest title is CBS News contributor.
Sneed asked David Axelrod, Obama’s former campaign strategist/senior adviser/close friend, who is now a political contributor for NBC, if Daley is the first chief of staff to sign on to such a gig.
“Probably so,” said Axelrod.
Daley, the U.S. Commerce Secretary under former President Bill Clinton who abruptly quit his job as Obama’s chief administrator in 2012 and recently exited the Illinois gubernatorial Dem primary race, describes his new gig as “not a big deal.”
“I am not a correspondent, just a contributor . . . sort of like what [former Secretary of State] Condi Rice did when she left the Bush White House.” (Rice wasn’t Dubya’s chief of staff.)
“What I like about the job is that there is no cable involved,” said Daley. “It’s not soft and mushy and stupid. The show is not frivolous, and there is time for more serious discussion. I think cable covering politics is ridiculous.”
“I don’t know how long it will last,” said Daley. “But I’m not just going to do talking points like cable TV.
“I will talk about business as well as politics. . . and I am now in the process of doing a business deal,” said Daley. “So how long TV lasts will also depend on that.”
And, yes, Daley is also getting paid for his TV gig.
“Well, it’s not ‘Dancing With The Stars’,” said a jocular Daley, who once described his top job at the White House as a hornet’s nest — and whose decision to exit stunned the president as well as political pundits, who had been critical of Daley’s inability to deal with Beltway politics.
◆ Obama drama: Obama characterized Daley’s decision to quit by stating: “In the end, the pull of the hometown we both love was too great.”
◆ “It was obvious my ability to get a deal with the Republicans was not going to happen. The election didn’t change anything. I was right. Nothing happened in 2012. Nothing is getting done now,” Daley claims, making a reference to the government shutdown stalemate.
◆ Backshot: In an interview for a recent TV documentary about White House chiefs of staff, Daley claims legendary top White House administrator James Baker told him: “Congratulations: You have the worst blanking job in America.”
Now there’s a thought.
Is a river card about to be flipped?
Sneed hears the abrupt endorsement this week of Gov. Pat Quinn by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who are not kissin’ cousins, has the earmarks of a poker hand; the kind played in a Chicago casino.
◆ Chips ahoy? Emanuel, who is running a cash-strapped city, needs the infusion of cash a Chicago casino would generate — as well as a solution to the pension crisis.
◆ Chip flip? Quinn, who is urging pension reform, is holding out on casino legislation until it’s done.
◆ Flip flop? Will Quinn ease up on casino restrictions in exchange for Rahm’s full tilt endorsement of Quinn’s pension reform?
◆ Deal the cards: Emanuel’s endorsement of Quinn over his close friend and GOP gubernatorial primary contender Bruce Rauner could have been made months ago.
Sneedlings . . .
Friday’s birthdays: Katy Perry, 29; Helen Reddy, 72, and Ciara, 28.