WASHINGTON--Would President Obama be better off if he listened more to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's advice? Are there rifts in the Obama White House? Triggered by two stories in the Washington Post about Emanuel, these questions are hanging out there. The front page above the fold Washington Post on Tuesday was headlined, "Hotheaded Emanuel may be White House voice of reason." But the latest Emanuel narrative was started on Feb. 21 with a Dana Milbank column, "Why Obama needs Rahm."
Excerpt from March 2 Washington Post story on Rahm Emanuel:
Hotheaded Emanuel may be White House voice of reason
"But a contrarian narrative is emerging: Emanuel is a force of political reason within the White House and could have helped the administration avoid its current bind if the president had heeded his advice on some of the most sensitive subjects of the year: health-care reform, jobs and trying alleged terrorists in civilian courts.
It is a view propounded by lawmakers and early supporters of President Obama who are frustrated because they think the administration has gone for the perfect at the expense of the plausible."
Marc Ambinder over at TheAtlantic.com, puts a lot of this together in his analysis, "Rahmology: The Chief Of Staff Seeks Cover."
Milbank, by the way, said"> Emanuel was not a source for his column.
The Emanuel "toxic meme," Dan Froomkin's take at the Huffington Post: Here's an excerpt: The latest toxic meme to spread across the pages of my once-beloved Washington Post is that President Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is the one reasonable man in the White House. [...]
But Emanuel is not the would-be savior of this presidency. For one thing, there really isn't that much daylight between him and his boss, or between him and his top White House colleagues. Had things gone even more his way, it's possible that he would have squelched a few more of what few bursts of idealism and principle survived Inauguration. But people looking for the reasons why the Obama presidency has not lived up to its promise won't find the answer amid the minor rifts between key players. Nor will they find the answer in how well or poorly this White House has played the game of politics. The fact is that after a campaign that appealed so successfully to idealism, Obama hired a bunch of saboteurs of hope and change. ...