Before announcing that Bill Daley will take over as chief of staff, the President had some very heartfelt kind words for Pete Rouse, who has been serving as interim chief of staff these past months. "Thanks in no small part to his efforts, a period that everybody thought would be one of retrenchment was one of great progress for the country," said the President, and the fact that Rouse has agreed to stay on as Counselor to the President was met by a standing ovation led by the Vice President.
Rouse never harbored ambitions for the job, and has led the process of not only finding his own replacement, but of restructuring the White House staff to function better in their duties for the American people:
As part of that process, today I am proud to announce the appointment of an experienced public servant, a devoted patriot, my friend, fellow Chicagoan Bill Daley, to serve as my Chief of Staff. (Applause.)
Few Americans can boast the breadth of experience that Bill brings to this job. He served as a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet as Commerce Secretary. He took on several other important duties over the years on behalf of our country. He’s led major corporations. He possesses a deep understanding of how jobs are created and how to grow our economy. And needless to say, Bill also has a smidgen of awareness of how our system of government and politics works. You might say it is a genetic trait. (Laughter.)
But most of all, I know Bill to be somebody who cares deeply about this country, believes in its promise and considers no calling higher and more important than serving the American people. He will bring his tremendous experience, his strong values and forward-looking vision to this White House. I’m convinced that he’ll help us in our mission of growing our economy and moving America forward. And I very much look forward to working with Bill in the years to come.