(CNN) - Some Senate Democrats were concerned and frustrated last year about outgoing White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley's handling of the high-stakes negotiations with Republicans over government funding, the debt ceiling and job creation, according to a senior Democratic aide on Capitol Hill.
Relations got so bad that after the White House got into a scheduling dispute with House Republicans over the president's jobs speech to a joint session of Congress in September, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, complained directly to President Barack Obama about Daley's performance.
Democrats also were stunned this summer when they learned through news reports that the president nearly cut a secret "grand bargain" with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to slash the deficit by trillions of dollars, the aide said.
Democratic lawmakers feared that Daley, in an effort to build a re-election strategy for Obama, was blaming publicly both Democrats and Republicans - instead of just Republicans - for the dysfunction on Capitol Hill that threatened to close the government and cause a default on the government's debts.
Obama announced Monday that Daley is stepping down and will be replaced by Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew.
As an example of their frustration, Democrats point to an October quote in a Politico column in which Daley said, "on the domestic side, both Democrats and Republicans have really made it very difficult for the president to be anything like a chief executive."
That "fear that he was plotting against us" was "compounded by the way he conducted business with Congress," the top Democratic aide said.
The president's right-hand man was not good about reaching out and communicating with Democrats on the Hill, especially about what the White House was doing and why, the aide said. In addition, he didn't take the time to listen to lawmakers' ideas and concerns, which the aide said can be critically important to winning lawmakers' support even if their ideas are not included in a final deal.
The aide noted the White House is now doing a better job of directing its criticism at just Republicans.
A senior House Democratic aide said there were concerns about Daley in that chamber, but they were not as prevalent. For instance, House Democrats were angered that in the president's September jobs speech he mentioned the need for "Congress" to pass his bill more times than the need for "Republicans" to pass it.
To his credit though, Daley has taken tough questions from Democratic lawmakers in closed caucus sessions over the government funding and debt ceiling bills and earned standing ovations by the ends of those meetings for his answers, the aide said.