Start with the essayist's (Rahe) observation at the time Daley came on board:
...the President could not take on Bill Daley “without eating a substantial helping of crow.” Before taking the job, I observed, “he must have heard the President whisper the familiar words that this son of one Chicago mayor and brother of another first learned as an altar boy: “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” I then predicted that Daley would wield “far more authority than was ever accorded to Rahm Emanuel,” and I argued that his arrival at the helm meant “that Obama has decided to pivot and reposition himself as a budget-cutter and a friend to big business.”
That was then.
...It did not cross my mind at the time that Barack Obama would dither and dither, drop the ball, then balk, and pivot left – with an eye to winning the Presidency as a proponent of class warfare. But this is, in the end, precisely what he did, and Bill Daley is now appropriately heading for the exits. If I am surprised, it is only because he stayed on as long as he did.
Perhaps it is putting far too much weight on one event--Daley's departure--to determine that Obama is either extremely confident of the '12 outcome or is so self-obsessed that he doesn't care what that departure may mean.
Another look at the Daley Departure:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson is having a good week in White House politics, as a major obstacle to her regulatory powers resigned as President Obama's chief of staff, and then the president held an EPA pep rally the next day assuring Jackson of his commitment to her agenda.
Daley quashed MACT earlier, and obviously lost the battle.