Did Daley leave WH because of the HHS Mandate?

Found over at New Advent (which you should be visiting every day!) there is this headline: Anonymous White House sources: Sebelius led fight for contraception edict, while VP Biden warned Obama about backlash from Catholic voters…..

President Barack Obama ended months of internal White House debate by siding with a group of mostly female advisers who urged him not to limit a health-care law mandate to provide contraceptives, even at the risk of alienating Catholic voters in November, people familiar with the discussions said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic and a two-term governor of Kansas, was joined by several female Obama advisers in urging against a broad exemption for religious organizations. To do so would leave too many women without coverage and sap the enthusiasm for Obama among women’s rights advocates, they said, according to the people, who spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity.

Vice President Joe Biden and then-White House chief of staff Bill Daley, also Catholics, warned that the mandate would be seen as a government intrusion on religious institutions. Even moderate Catholic voters in battleground states might be alienated, they warned, according to the people familiar with the discussions.

The whole article is interesting, particularly in the sense it gives of the enormous amount of sway held by Valerie Jarrett, but I couldn’t help wondering if this HHS Mandate decision is why Bill Daley left the White House so suddenly.

The timeline fits. Daley announced he was leaving as the debate was going on in the White House and his departure co-incides with the announced decision.

Is it possible that Daley — who political junkies expected to remain on Obama’s staff through the ’12 election — looked at this decision and, either as a citizen who couldn’t get behind this assault on religious freedom or as a Catholic could not agree and, in good conscience, no choice but to resign?

Pretty interesting.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Gail Finke

    A very interesting assertion.

    On another note… I used to listen to Glenn Beck pretty often for some logistical reasons (radio program was on, came in where I was working at the time, and was often very funny). I always took him with a grain of salt as mostly an entertainer. He used to go on and on about Valerie Jarrett. Kind of eerie how a lot of things he used to go on and on about have actually happened. Just because the man is kind of a nut doesn’t mean he is wrong!

    Also, does anyone remember that the reason we started our supposedly quick attack on Libya was because of Hillary Clinton and some other female advisors? Why do they keep saying these are “female advisors”? Do they have different aims from other advisors?

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  • Chris

    I don’t think I saw a single appropriate use of the word “Catholic” in that entire article.

  • countrydoc

    The VP said something that made sense? You’re right, this is big news!

  • Peggy R

    It is certainly possible. I don’ think Daley ever fit in. O didn’t really want to go ‘moderate’ and Val Jar continues to rule the roost–that last by many media reports. Notice the Catholic men were wary of this, but the dissenting Catholic women insisted. They are angry. I wonder if Joe Biden is being muzzled. I suspect he’s not too happy about this.

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  • quiddity2001

    This was the same question I asked after getting through the first to paragraphs. If it is true, it says something good about the man. The Irish Catholics of Chicago no matter where they reside now, remember their roots. This is like attacking their grandmothers. I know, because I am the daughter of a 2nd generation Chicago born mother and 1st generation Irish Catholic grandmother. I hope that Daley did this for the right reason and if he did, will be willing to speak out about it.

  • Chris

    Bill Daley and Obama are/were part of the Chicago Machine. If he left for any reason related to the HHS ruling, I would wager it was for purely selfish, political survival.

    And pro-choice Richie Daley was not shy about presenting gifts to the homosexual community in Chicago – namely, wielding his influence on Madigan to get civil union laws passed, bringing in the Gay Olympics, and helping make the Chicago Pride parade more attended than the St. Patrick’s Day parade. That doesn’t necessarily mean Bill Daley agreed with it, but it’s not likely two brothers of the same political stripe differ much in their views.

  • doc

    Sebelius was fanatically supportive of abortion in Kansas when George Tiller made her state the late term abortion capitol of the country. Jack Cashill has done some great writing exposing the former governor. What’s the matter with Kansas, indeed?

  • kevin

    I agree that this is part of the set up for Obama to step in make things right. He’ll say he wasn’t fully informed, had delegated, etc., but upon close review he sees that a mistake “was made.”

    He realizes that Catholics like Kmiec are infatuated with him and will get on this bandwagon again once he does this.

  • Ann

    I could see this. I could see Joe Biden being ticked off too.

  • jkm

    “A group of mostly female advisers”? So they’re partly male? No wonder they are anxious about protection: they’re afraid they’ll accidentally impregnate themselves. I realize grammar is the least of the problems with this item, but “a group of advisers, most of them women” would have been more accurate.

  • Mr. Patton

    If someone were to ask Bill Daley about this, especially Rahm Emanuel, I am pretty sure the answer to this perplexing issue would be that Mr. Daley is leaving in the average amount of time of 18 months.

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  • kevin

    Ah, mostly female might be half right. sorry.

  • Manny

    Months of internal debate??? Here’s outright proof they lied to Bishop Dolan!! They set him up and stuck a knife in his back.

  • Teresa

    Agree with Manny. I believe Archbishop Dolan (soon to be Cardinal) knows he was lied to. It seems the Bishops have finally woken up. And then there is the Vice President. For a man whose mouth runs even when he is alone in a room, where is he now? As for Obama changing course in order to look like a hero, it is too late for that. Too many of us are on to him. Even if he tries changing the mandate, it will all come back in a second term.

  • Gerry

    three words I’ve yet to hear: taxpayer subsidized promiscuity

  • Joan

    Gerry, that’s what I was thinking when I listened to an NPR talk show this week, with the host complaining that college students at Catholic colleges were being denied contraception and those institutions were ignoring their duty to keep the co-ed pregnancy-free.

    Elizabeth also raises a point in this post that crossed my mind. Daley’s role in lobbying for a broader exemption was mentioned in a recent Washington Post article, which also noted that the White House’s faith-based initiative team sought to broker a more generous religious exemption. But, remember Daley, was the messenger of “centrism” more generlaly, so he might have left for other reasons, as the White House become more focused on emphasizing class issues, etc.

  • Ryan M.
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  • kevin

    The word is that the hard left radicalism of Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarret rule the roost at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I assume Daley’s departure was a combination of frustration with that fact, and perhaps this mandate played a role as well.

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  • doc

    Yes, Laura Ingraham uncovered some doozies from both Michelle and Valerie in The Obama Diaries. Well played.

  • Mary

    But now the subject has been openly discussed.
    Now, people who consider themselves moderate, mainstream, non-political people will start thinking “well, why SHOULD the religious institutions have an exemption?”
    This mandate, even if it is reversed, has advanced the ball.

  • mrteachersir

    My two cents:

    1) The piece referenced clearly indicates that “people familiar with the discussions” seemed to think that this was political from the get-go: “Catholic voters” and “moderate voters in battleground states”. My gut instinct tells me that both men, at least, phrased their discontent in political terms, probably because they thought it’d work best with teh Won.

    2) Obama has already had his mouthpiece, Carney, say numerous times the White House will not broker any deal. It is increasingly looking like Obama will ride this thing out and hope it goes away. Either that, or he’s got something more sinister planned, in order to take people’s minds off of it. In any case, if he does back-track, I can’t imagine the bishops would trust that he wouldn’t do it again.

    3) Something tells me Obama isn’t assuming there’ll be a second term…

    [I, on the other hand, think he is deliberately fomenting chaos -admin]

  • Elizabeth

    Daley? No way.. HIS family is responsible for the dissent of ALL Irish Catholics in Chicago after Humane Vitae… Everyone in Chicago knows that and often goes unspoken…


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