Obama's Chief of Staff Steps Down Amid Behind-the-Scenes Shitstorm

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bill Daley, the man hired 10 months ago to turn the S.S. Obama around following the disastrous 2010 elections, is "shifting core responsibilities." Translation: He's being sidelined into a comfy "ambassadorial" position where he can't muck things up further for the beleaguered administration.

In Monday's staff meeting, Daley announced that day-to-day management of the West Wing has been handed over to veteran Obama aide Pete Rouse — Rouse had filled in as interim chief of staff after Rahm Emanuel's departure — and that his new role "has not yet been fully defined," according to a staffer present at the meeting. (A contradictory report from Reuters claims Daley will retain the title of chief of staff as well as his day-to-day management duties, and that Rouse will merely take on additional responsibilities.) The "recalibration of Mr. Daley's portfolio" (the WSJ euphemisms are like poetry!) is designed to "smooth any kinks in the president's team as it braces for the overlapping demands of governing while campaigning for re-election."

Example of a "kink": Remember when Obama announced he'd be unveiling his big jobs plan during a GOP presidential debate, and everyone was thrilled that he was finally showing a spine? And then John Boehner poked his head out of his irradiating clamshell to say, "No fucking way?" And then the president backed down and looked like a total wuss again? Well, Obama read the riot act to his staff, demanding to know how they could have failed to see that conflict coming. All bucks stopped at Daley's desk — he was the one who said everyone had signed off on that first date. [WSJ, Photo via Getty]