President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney is downplaying White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley’s decision to hand over some of his duties to senior aide Peter Rouse.
Although Mr. Daley will retain his day-to-day management role, Mr. Rouse will take on more responsibilities for overseeing staff.
Mr. Carney told reporters Tuesday that “a little bit more is being made of this than in fact is happening.”
Mr. Daley simply asked Mr. Rouse, a counselor to the president, “to help streamline and make more efficient and effective internal communications in the White House and to help with some of the day-to-day management of the place,” Mr. Carney said.
“Bill Daley, as the chief of staff, retains obviously all of his authority and ultimate responsibility for the White House operations and White House staff,” Mr. Carney said.
Mr. Carney also stressed that the decision is “less about transferring duties than it is about adding responsibilities without subtracting any from anybody else.”
“It’s about making the White House as effective and efficient as possible,” he added.
Despite Daley’s reputation as a savvy politico, he angered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, over the summer during the debt-ceiling negotiations. Mr. Reid accused the White House of working side deals with Republicans.
Mr. Daley announced Mr. Rouse’s new responsibilities at a Monday meeting. The Wall Street Journal first reported the changes.