Tomorrow, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will announce
his resignation (and probably
run for mayor of Chicago). Pete Rouse, who served as President Obama's
chief of staff in the Senate, is expected to replace him. The news comes
as a relief to progressives, many of whom loathed
Emanuel, while conservatives worry his exit will steer the White House further left. How will this change the Obama presidency?
- Background on Rouse "Mr. Rouse has publicly expressed
reservations about taking the chief of staff job for an extended period,
but he has apparently agreed to do the job – for now," write Michael Shear and Jeff Zeleny
at The New York Times. "Mr. Rouse has a low profile outside the White
House and across Washington, but he is extraordinarily close to the
president and is respected inside the West Wing and on Capitol Hill,
where he was known as the '101st Senator' in his role as an adviser to
Senator Tom Daschle
of South Dakota, then the Democratic leader... When Mr. Daschle was
defeated in 2004, Mr. Obama hired Mr. Rouse to run his Senate office, a
decision that was central to Mr. Obama’s abrupt political rise."
- I'm Optimistic About Rouse, writes liberal writer Ari Berman
at The Nation: "Maybe Rahm’s replacement, White House senior adviser
Pete Rouse, will have better luck. After all, Rouse served as a top aide
to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and understands the unique
customs of the Senate better than anyone. Rahm’s turbulent tenure in
Washington has proven that traditional inside-the-Beltway experience can
be overrated, particularly when your boss was supposed to personify the
dawn of a new political era. Now is the time for Obama to focus on
reinspiring his grassroots base outside-the-Beltway. But if he's is
going to play the Washington game, he might as well play it well."
- Obama's Going to Be Even More Disconnected, writes conservative blogger Bryan Preston
at Pajamas Media: "Emanuel was probably the most pragmatic member of
the Obama inner circle. His departure is sure to increase the
disconnect between the White House and Congressional Democrats, who
increasingly see the president as a tarnished leader out of touch with
the damage he is doing to his own party. It’s also likely to increase
the influence of Valerie Jarrett."
- May Be Better at Dealing with the Senate, write Anne Kornblut and Chris Cillizza
at The Washington Post: "Rouse possesses a similar knowledge of the
Senate, a murkier place - teeming with ambition, insecurities and big
egos - that often frustrated Emanuel. Although he rose to power with
Daschle, Rouse has a warm friendship with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and dines regularly with Reid and his wife, Landra."
- He's Got His Work Cut Out for Him, writes Alan Mascarenhas
at Newsweek: "With Democrats expecting heavy losses in November,
guiding Obama's legislative priorities through Congress is only likely
to become trickier. The new chief of staff will be required to link arms
as well as twist them. For the administration, it's never ideal for a
leading light to head for the exit. And who knows? If a Democratic
bloodbath ensues on Nov. 2, calls may grow louder for
a 'wise elder' to come in and steady the ship - someone like Clinton
holdover Erskine Bowles, experienced at working with a GOP-controlled
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