March 1st, 2011
03:34 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN)– White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley quietly expanded the Obama administration's outreach to the business community on Tuesday by appearing via videoconference at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's board meeting in Florida.
Daley's remarks on President Obama's efforts to create jobs and tout his competitiveness agenda came as another top White House aide, senior adviser David Plouffe, delivered closed-door remarks in Washington to the executive council of the AFL-CIO.
Plouffe told CNN that his meeting with top organized labor officials would undoubtedly include some conversation about the battle labor unions for public employees are waging against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
But Plouffe stressed that he mostly wanted to talk about "creating jobs and how we're going to win the future," the message Obama unveiled in his State of the Union Address and has been pitching in a series of events around the country.
The outreach by Daley and Plouffe shows how even as instability in the Mideast continues to dominate media attention, White House aides are trying to keep the focus on jobs and the rest of Obama's domestic agenda here at home.
While Obama has worked closely with organized labor during his first two years in office and is counting on them to deliver for him in the 2012 election, he has a much more complicated relationship with the Chamber of Commerce.
Though the White House saw eye to eye with the business group on issues like the stimulus package and the auto bailouts in 2009, the battle over health care reform sparked a huge amount of friction between them.
Daley, a former business executive and Commerce Secretary in the Clinton administration, has worked hard during his first few months as chief of staff to repair Obama's relationship with the business community.
In early February, Obama delivered a speech before 200 members of the Chamber of Commerce in Washington making his case that investing in key priorities like education and infrastructure during these lean budget times will help get the "We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build our competitors," Obama said. "We need an economy that's based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations, but what we make and sell around the world."
“We were pleased to hear from Bill Daley at our board meeting today and enjoyed discussing ways to address our mutual goals of creating jobs and bolstering the economy and US competitiveness,” said Tom Collamore, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Communications and Strategy.