WASHINGTON -- William M. Daley, President Clinton's choice to be secretary of commerce, is no stranger to the White House, politics or commerce.
The 48-year-old attorney is the son of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago and the brother of the current mayor, Richard M. Daley.
He was chairman of Clinton's 1992 campaign in Illinois and, with close ties to organized labor and business, helped Clinton steer the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress in 1993.
"Public service often is demeaned and denigrated in these days, but I have a very different view," Daley said at a White House news conference.
A shrewd strategist, Daley bridges old-style, labor-dominated Democratic politics and the pro-business policies of the Clinton administration. He comes to it naturally.
Thirty-six years ago, a 12-year-old Daley, his oldest brother and their father were guests of President John F. Kennedy the weekend he was inaugurated.
For years afterward, Daley watched as his father ran the last of the country's great political machines. Later, he would be regarded as the brightest of the late mayor's seven children, smarter even than brother Rich.
After their father died and the machine split apart into warring factions, Bill Daley helped engineer his oldest brother's ascension.
Until now, however, Daley had never held public office. He replaces Mickey Kantor, who left the commerce job for the business sector.
Pub Date: 12/14/96