8:40am

Tue January 4, 2011
The Two-Way

A Daley In The White House?

This has the feel of a classic "trial balloon":

Politico writes that "former Clinton Commerce Secretary William Daley -- a scion of Chicago’s powerful political dynasty -- is being considered for a top slot in the Obama administration, perhaps White House chief of staff, according to two people familiar with the situation."

Bloomberg News, which broke the story, adds that "such a move, which is still under discussion, would bring a Washington veteran -- and someone with strong business ties -- into the administration as Obama sets out an agenda for the second half of his term while dealing with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives."

If Daley, the son of one former Chicago mayor and brother of another, does get the job, he would be succeeding another Chicago-based pol -- Rahm Emanuel, who left the position late last year to run for mayor in the Windy City.

Pete Rouse has been serving as interim chief of staff.

In case you're not familiar with the term "trial balloon," Merriam-Webster defines it as "a project or scheme tentatively announced in order to test public opinion."

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET. The Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet writes that:

"There are a few reasons Daley is seen as a top choice by the Obama White House for the job, I hear. Daley has the complete skill set: He understands how Washington works; he ran the Gore campaign; he is a former Cabinet member; he could help the Obama administration improve relations with the business community as a hostile GOP-controlled House will be sworn in Wednesday. And perhaps most important, Daley could bring the Obama team a real sense of a defined mission in a political year."

But, she adds, Rouse may yet decide he would like to stay in the job.

The Chicago Tribune notes that "in 2009, Daley was one of the first prominent Democrats to urge Obama to move toward the political center. In an op-ed piece that ran in The Washington Post, Daley said the party must either 'plot a more moderate, centrist course' or risk major loses in midterm congressional elections and future elections as well." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.