Was it just my imagination, or was there a note of one-upsmanship in Bill Daley’s noting, in his remarks after being announced as the next White House chief of staff, that he had been in the White House fifty years ago this month?


Fifty years ago this month Barack Obama was a fetus and Bill Daley was a 12-year-old visiting the White House. Not, one is safe in assuming, in an ordinary tourist visit but as the guest of the “young president” Daley referred to but did not name, John Kennedy. And Daley even at 12 was surely aware that he and his parents and siblings were there because his father had done more than anyone else (exactly how much remains a matter in dispute) to deliver Illinois’s 27 electoral votes to Kennedy.


The implied message to Obama: I’ve been around a lot longer than you have, and I know how things work. This looks something like the opposite of groveling.