Why Daley had to go
Aside from bungling the debt limit issue for the White House, Bill Daley was an anathema to most of the left; a moderate, pro business Democrat with close ties to Wall Street.
But beyond that, as Politico points out, there were issues inside the White House that eventually doomed the former Mayor of Chicago's brother:
People close to the situation tell POLITICO that Daley decided to bolt nearly a year earlier than expected in part because he felt marginalized. He was still involved in most key meetings, but he had waning influence, particularly over political decisions made by Obama's inner circle.
Daley, a charming if blunt former Commerce secretary, had an even rockier relationship with key Hill Democrats, especially Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). So the selection of low-key budget expert Jack Lew as his replacement was greeted with relief among Democratic lawmakers.
"You can be an outsider from Washington for the last 10 years, or you can be an outsider to Obama's inner circle," said one senior Democrat, summing up Daley's tenure. "But you can't be both."
His power gone, his relations with Hill Democrats frosty, perhaps the biggest reason for his departure was that he didn't fit in with the newly hyper-liberal, hyper-partisan Obama White House where the inner circle is transforming the administration into a cog in the re-election machine:
When Obama made his hairpin turn to the right in response to the Democrats' mauling in the midterms, Daley was his guy.
Now, with the advent of Obama as populist economic warrior? Not so much.
Lew is a technician and not a boat-rocker. But no recent Obama personnel move better captures the president's election-year shift to the left.
"The Daley departure marks the end of Obama's attempt to look pro-business, launched a year ago with his much-touted [Wall Street Journal] op-ed promising regulatory reform," said Phil Kerpen, vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group aligned with the tea party.
"Now, Obama will return to his comfort zone as a far left demagogue stoking class envy and playing to his ideologically motivated left-wing base," Kerpen wrote on POLITICO's Arena.
More and more it appears that Obama is giving up on trying to attract middle of the road independents and is going to spend a billion dollars to make sure every single liberal vote that it is possible to get will show up at the polls on election day. This is the Rove strategy on steroids. In 2004, Rove believed that the gay marriage state ballot issues would turn evangelicals out in record numbers and he was right. And the overwhelming majority of those voters gave the election to Bush.
Obama is going to go Rove one better and beat the bushes for every left wing vote he can find. Unless the GOP can match his organization in intensity, if not money, there is a better than even chance that no matter how bad the economy might be, Obama will will squeak out a victory.