President Barack Obama announced Monday afternoon that White House Chief of Staff William Daley has resigned his post in order to spend more time with his family in Chicago, confirming the resignation soon after the news broke.
Speaking in the White House State Dining Room with Daley and his replacement, current Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Jack Lew, Obama expressed his initial dismay to be losing Daley, who spent a single year in one of the most pivotal jobs in U.S. politics.
The news obviously wasn't easy to hear, Obama said, describing how he initially rejected Daley's resignation and asked him to reconsider during the holidays. Bill has been an outstanding chief of staff in one of the busiest and most consequential years of my presidency.
However, Obama said Daley's -- who stood silently at Obama's right during the five-minute statement -- desire to return to his hometown of Chicago and spend more time with his children and grandchildren ultimately won over.
Obama credited Daley for being instrumental in a variety of important decisions last year, including the American Jobs Act, the U.S. intervention in Libya, and the ending to the war in Iraq.
Daley reportedly recommended his successor be Lew, who also appeared at Obama's left side during the address. Lew began his political career as a legislative aide to former House Speaker Tip O'Neil, before serving as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and then deputy secretary of state for management under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Lew, who also served as OMB director from 1998 to 2001, was appointed to that post again in November 2010 and confirmed with unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate.
As anyone who has been watching the news recently knows, this is not as easy job, Obama said, describing Lew's stint as OMB director in a year marked by repeated budget showdowns between congressional Democrats and Republicans.
Obama, who anonymous sources claim was caught off-guard by Daley's resignation, said he was confident that Lew would serve him and the nation well as chief of staff.
There is no question that I am going to deeply miss having Bill by my side in the White House, Obama said. Here in Washington, I have every confidence that Jack won't miss a beat.
Daley replaced Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last January, after Emanuel decided to return to Chicago to pursue election as mayor, which he won.
Daley's departure was preceded by a narrowing of his duties. Although in October he told reporters he was committed to sticking with the president through his re-election bid, a month later some of his responsibilities were shifted to White House adviser Pete Rouse.
Daley, who was commerce secretary to the Clinton Administration, is the son of legendary Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.