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Daley, brother of outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, was Commerce Secretary under Bill Clinton, the chief architect of NAFTA, chairman of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, a top adviser/fundraiser for the Obama campaign and, most recently, Midwest chairman of JP Morgan Chase. He shares the corporate centrism of Emanuel and, when it comes to economic issues, may be worse. AFL-CIO head John Sweeney once said that Daley stood “squarely on the opposite side of working families.”
Daley lobbied for telecommunications giant SBC, publicly chided the Obama administration for pursuing healthcare reform (he serves on the board of drugmaker Merck), advised the Chamber of Commerce on Wall Street regulation (they wanted less of it) and reportedly urged Obama’s team to drop the most popular provision of the financial reform bill—the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. When Daley joined the board of the corporate-aligned Democratic group Third Way in July 2010, board chairman John Vogelstein said that Daley’s tasks would include “reforming entitlements”—a clever code word for cutting Social Security and Medicare. Yet, despite all this, Obama is making Daley the focal point of his White House in year three. Didn’t the president learn anything from Rahm’s disastrous tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?