Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praised President Barack Obama on Thursday for choosing business executive William Daley to serve as White House chief of staff.
The Kentucky Republican noted that he has long been critical of the president’s senior staff but that he feels differently about Daley.
“I frankly think it’s kind of a hopeful sign,” said McConnell, who successfully negotiated a compromise with Obama in December to extend tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. “He has a business background. As I used to say over the last two years: I don’t know if it’s technically true or not, but there’s nobody down at the White House who’s ever even run a lemonade stand, just college professors and former elected officials. This is a guy who’s actually been out in the private sector, been a part of business. Frankly, my first reaction is, it sounds like a good idea.”
Daley was Commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton and most recently the Midwest chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue and National Association of Manufacturers Executive Vice President Jay Timmons also embraced the addition of Daley to the White House staff.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.