Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, is expected to leave his job later this year after growing tired of the “idealism” of Barack Obama’s inner circle.
Washington insiders say he will quit within six to eight months in frustration at their unwillingness to “bang heads together” to get policy pushed through.
Mr Emanuel, 50, enjoys a good working relationship with Mr Obama but they are understood to have reached an understanding that differences over style mean he will serve only half the full four-year term.
Leaving would also potentially free him up to purse an office of his own – Godfather of the Chicago syndicate (Mayor).
Can the Obama administration’s inability to smoothly implement its agenda really be due to an excess of pragmatism? How will this change the makeup, perception, and workings of the White House?
I enjoyed this bit: “Democrats have not stood behind the president in the way Republicans did for George W Bush, and that was meant to be Rahm’s job.” They needed someone to do that for the One? Whatever happened to the blinding righteousness? It’s like saying Jesus needed a ward boss.
The question of who replaces him will set the tone for the rest of Obama’s presidency. If he selects someone with more subtlety and diplomacy with both parties on Capitol Hill, then Obama may attempt to move back towards the center in a Clintonian fashion. If he picks another ideologue, expect the Obama presidency to run completely off the rails in its final two years.
Outside the Beltway
Emanuel’s departure, then, could be taken as a sign that the idealists have won the ground war inside the West Wing and there are some bloggers who are making the leap into assuming that Emanuel’s departure is a sign that Obama will be facing a serious challenger for the Democratic nomination in 2012 by a pragmatist.
Another Black Conservative
Something tells me that Rahm won’t be the only one looking for an exit after midterms. The oil spill has washed away any of the Hopey Changey hype of 2008. What is left will be pretty hard to defend going into 2012. Add on the inevitable circular firing squad that is sure to follow the massive Democratic losses in November and I am certain Rahm won’t be the only one looking for the door.
If Obama and his inner circle think Emanuel’s departure will solve their problems, they are in for a rude awakening. This administration is severing its carotid artery with its turn toward socialism, its apathetic reaction to the Gulf oil spill, and its outright hostility to our nation’s allies; applying a band aid will do nothing to stop the hemorrhaging.
My gut feeling is that he’s not planning on leaving, seeing as he’s the guy who said shortly after the 2008 election of Barack Obama that you should never let a crisis go to waste. And considering the hot button issues on the front burner in America these days, this is the kind of political environment that a guy like Emanuel relishes.
So this is how the message might read. “Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, is threatening to leave his job later this year unless Barack Obama gets real. Rahm has made a lot of personal sacrifices to join the White House. He gave up being a congressman, Chicago deep dish pizza and being a father to his children for what? To be blamed as abrasive when the midterm disaster unfolds. No way he’s taking the fall for that.