Emanuel defends Daley as chief of staff

Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:38 AM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used the resignation of White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley to criticize the Washington culture in which Emanuel worked for years.

Daley, brother of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, resigned from his post, effective at the end of the month. He had been criticized for his performance in President Obama's administration, with some politicos saying Daley didn't understand the inside-the-Beltway operations.

Emanuel, a one-time congressman and Daley's predecessor, dismissed such knowledge as a prerequisite for success as chief of staff, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

"I appreciate the views of those in Washington about how important Washington experience is about Washington," Emanuel said Tuesday during a news conference. "It's a little self-importance, in my view."

What's necessary is loyalty, Emanuel said, which isn't "a strong suit for Washington, I'll tell you that. You've got to know how to have a president's back. Not a strong suit from Washington."

Being chief of staff is "a grinding job" with a lifespan of about 18 months, said Emanuel, who left in the fall of 2010 to run for mayor. Daley lasted about a year.

"It's the toughest job in America," Emanuel said.

Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew will succeed Daley.

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