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Politics

Sununu's Advice For Daley: Substance Matters

January 13, 2011

This post has been corrected.

Former White House chief of staff John Sununu can be forgiven for not wishing incoming chief Bill Daley the best of luck -- after all, Sununu, now a member of the Republican National Committee, is actively working against Daley's new boss, Pres. Obama.

Still, the fraternity of former chiefs of staff is a small club, and Sununu did offer Daley some advice: "Convince the president that his problem is not communication, but substance."

"The president keeps saying that his problem is that he hasn't communicated, for example, on the health care bill," Sununu told Hotline On Call. "But it's not communication, it's substance. And one of the roles of the chief of staff is to give the president good advice."

The two men will face similar challenges in the post, albeit challenges that come more than a generation apart. Asked the lesson he had to learn fastest, when he took over atop George H.W. Bush's White House, Sununu grinned: "To be nice to Congress."

Faced with a Republican House, that's a skill Daley will have to learn quickly.

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