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What Bill Daley's resignation signals

Outgoing White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley was brought in with two goals in mind: to improve White House relations with the business community and to figure out how to work with congressional Republicans.

Those goals, you could argue, weren't achieved during Daley's one-year tenure as chief of staff, and they partially explain his exit.

Then again, the Obama White House experienced several successes during his time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Osama bin Laden's death (Daley's included in that iconic photo). The complete withdrawal from Iraq. Khaddafy's death. And the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

"Bill has been an outstanding chief of staff during one of the busiest and most consequential years of my administration," President Obama said at a news event today announcing Daley's departure.

"We were thinking back, just a year ago this weekend, before he was even named for the job, Bill was in the Situation Room getting updates on the shooting in Tucson. On his very first day, Bill took part in a meeting where we discussed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad. This was all before he even had time to unpack his office."

NBC has learned that Daley decided over the holiday season to leave. President Obama asked him to reconsider. He did, but in the end decided to go. This was all Daley's idea. Don't forget: White House senior adviser Pete Rouse had already been brought back in to help with congressional relations.

Daley isn't leaving Team Obama's orbit. He will become an Obama re-election campaign co-chair.

And, unlike other chiefs of staff, new Chief of Staff Jack Lew will have little -- if any -- role in the campaign.