Obama’s apparent selection of Rahm Emanuel for White House chief of staff is an extremely disconcerting (if not wholly surprising) first indication on the “which Obama will we get” question. It suggests both that he wants to be ruthless and partisan and that he does not have a clear sense of how the White House works.
Emanuel was by all accounts a very effective White House staffer in the Clinton administration, and he has certainly been an effective member of the House of Representatives. He is smart and tough. But he has been, in both positions, a vicious graceless partisan: narrow, hectic, unremittingly aggressive, vulgar, and impatient. Those who have worked for and with him come away impressed but not inspired, and generally not loyal.
On a completely unrelated note, I got an email from a liberal friend of a friend of mine. And I totally LOVE the idea he has here:
I plan putting change in front of everything, like the word smurf. Did you have your change breakfast? I am having a changing good time. You should try it, it is infectious, much like [my buddy's] genital warts.
Hope also works in there.