Posted by: Ann Corcoran | January 29, 2012

Outgoing Obama Chief of Staff says good-bye to White House with artery-clogging eats

Was he sending a message?  Was this Daley’s version of the Rahm Emanuel dead fish incident?*

It could be perfectly innocent, but when I saw this completely un-newsworthy story about exiting Obama Chief of Staff (and brother to the former mayor of Chicago), Bill Daley, tossing a White House good-bye party replete with artery-clogging pizza, buttery popcorn and cheesecake (flown in from Chicago), I saw a message to White House food czar Michelle.  Take that ……!

Here is the “news” about Daley’s “surprise:”

In an exclusive chat with Sneed this week, former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley sounded relieved and happy his tour of duty was finally over.

“I can’t wait to come back,” said Daley, whose abrupt resignation earlier this month flummoxed President Barack Obama.  [Daley had said he would stay until November 2012, but he suddenly remembered he had grandchildren to play with!–ed]

◆ Update: Now that all the hoopla over Bill’s decision to quit “has quieted down,” Daley tells Sneed he plans to spend time figuring out “what I really want to do.”

But before Daley heads home Friday, he has a surprise in store.

◆ Upshot: “I’m tossing a party to say goodbye to the White House staff with a ‘Taste of Chicago,’ ” he said.

◆ To wit: Daley told Sneed he has ordered a late-night air shipment of pizza, popcorn and cheesecake sent to the White House mess (cafeteria) for a noon surprise Friday.

Remember Jodi Kantor’s book!  It came out in the same week Daley resigned!  Kantor painted a very troubling picture of a White House staff in constant squabbling mode often roiled by complaints from First Lady Michelle Obama and her staff, particularly Valerie Jarrett.  The Daily Beast makes that point here.

But, I think the final straw for Daley was Kantor’s revelation that when Michelle and Valerie Jarrett worked for Mayor Daley in Chicago in 1991 they complained about the “white” boys running Chicago.  Here is Lynn Sweet writing at the Chicago Sun-Times about that incident two decades ago:

Mrs. Obama worked in the Daley administration between Sept. 16, 1991, and April 30, 1993, according to City of Chicago personnel records. She was hired by Jarrett, then Daley’s deputy chief of staff.

Kantor writes Mrs. Obama “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.

“…She 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.”

When Jarrett was forced out of City Hall in 1995 — even though she was close to Daley — “the Obamas were horrified, their worst suspicions about the world confirmed.”

Don’t you think it’s a fascinating coincidence that Kantor’s book release and Daley’s resignation occurred on the same day—January 9th, and a day after Lynn Sweet wrote that column above.

* Kantor also has lots of stories in “The Obama’s” about how Michelle and Emanuel were constantly at loggerheads in the White House too!


  1. Haaa! That would be just like Daley. Old thugs never die, they just throw “in your Face” parties. I’m guessing Michele doesn’t grow Chicago pizza in the White House garden, lol.

  2. Oh, and Ann,
    I’ve been playing investigative journalist again, keep your eye on your e-mail.

  3. […] too that chief of staff Daley resigned in the same week that Jodi Kantor’s book was released in which we learned that Jarrett and […]

  4. […] Jodi Kantor you may recall is the author of “The Obama’s,”  a book I’ve discussed many times on these pages.  If you are a new reader, the best piece I saw on her assessment of a highly dysfunctional White House is here.   You may recall that when the book was released, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley resigned (coincidence?), here. […]

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