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Obama agenda: Center swing

The Washington Post front-pages the Daley hire. "William M. Daley has the deep political experience one would expect in a top White House hire: scion of a Chicago political dynasty, adviser to numerous presidential candidates, former Cabinet secretary who also relishes exerting influence behind the scenes. But in turning to Daley as his new chief of staff on Thursday, President Obama was looking as much at the other pages of his resume. With extensive experience as a businessman and Wall Street executive, Daley comes to the administration positioned to help the president rebuild his frayed relationship with the corporate world."

The New York Times: "Mr. Daley’s recruitment to Pennsylvania Avenue from the corporate boardroom is seen as a smart step by some in Washington, who argue that Mr. Obama has long needed a White House confidant who has the ear of the business community and a record of bipartisanship that might help the president negotiate with Republicans in Congress."

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Obama’s pick of Bill Daley to be chief of staff, calling it a “hopeful sign.”

The New York Daily News’ headline on the Daley news: “Obama swings to center with pick of pro-business Chicagoan Bill Daley to run White House.”

The Hill describes today’s announcement of Gene Sperling as President Obama’s top economic adviser this way: “The appointment is another step by the White House to move to the center and to improve Obama's relationship with business.”

“Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Pentagon will seek $78 billion in cuts to the defense budget over the next five years in a surprise move that will reduce the size of the Army and Marine Corps,” The Hill writes. “If carried out by the administration, the plan will institute the first freeze on military spending since before the terrorist attacks of 2001.”

Per the New York Times, "The Obama administration offered a proposal on Thursday to allow long-haul Mexican trucks to move cargo in the United States. The proposal, which the Mexican government greeted as a positive step, was the latest sign of a new willingness by the Obama administration to support free-trade measures backed by Republicans and by businesses despite objections from labor unions and other liberal constituencies."