President Obama announced yesterday that Jacob J. Lew, his budget director, would replace William Daley as the White House chief of staff. Obama said he valued Lew’s advice because of his “mastery of the numbers” in the federal budget as well as “the values behind those numbers.”
Lew, who had previously served as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Clinton administration, accepted the same job under Obama in 2010. He also served as deputy to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and previously held several other positions in government and the private sector.
Daley, who has sometimes antagonized congressional Democrats in the year since he became Obama’s chief of staff, reportedly surprised the President by submitting a letter of resignation several days ago.
Yesterday Obama said Lew was taking “one of the most difficult jobs in Washington” but added that the budget director’s job was “one of the other most difficult jobs in Washington.” Obama is the third president in a row to ask a White House budget director to become chief of staff.
Obama did not immediately name a new OMB director.