Rahm Jumping Ship?
With Mayor Daley’s announcement that he will retire, Rahm Emanuel has been presented with a shot at his “dream job,” and by most accounts it appears he is going to take it.
Whilst one cannot begrudge him such an opportunity, it does raise questions about the current state of Obama’s White House. The reshuffling of the wider cabinet is not at all uncommon and if anything actually quite frequent, but changes to Chief of Staff (CoS), Secretary of State, Attorney General and Treasury Secretary are all major moves.
The CoS in particular is an absolutely crucial position in the enactment of the Presidential agenda, and ‘Rahm-bo’ was a seemingly excellent choice. Of course, the benchmark for all Chiefs of Staff throughout history is Leo McGarry of President Bartlett’s West Wing. Emanuel is not quite like the aforementioned character. However, ‘Obamacare’ was passed, and that was no easy feat considering the level of opposition within his own party; never mind the Republicans. Replacing Rahm is going to be a challenge considering there is not an obvious successor - unlike in the West Wing with CJ Cregg moving from Press Secretary to CoS.
Robert Gibbs is currently Obama’s Press Secretary, but his relationship with the media has been prickly at best. Perhaps his most distasteful moment was his attempted mockery of Sarah Palin and the notes on her hand; a truly painful moment of amateur stand-up. It’s speculated that he is after a behind-the-scenes job in the President’s reshuffle and there isn’t an overwhelming justification as to why he should be the next CoS.
David Axelrod, who has been with Obama since the start of his Campaign in 2006, is apparently wanting to return to his family but is also rumored to be getting Obama’s re-election campaign off the ground. This is probably sensible considering the midterms in November, which in many ways are essentially a referendum on the President. It looks to be an overwhelming Republican victory — can someone say 1994?
To add another bit of Hollywood, a possible replacement for Rahm Emanuel is Joe Biden’s CoS, Ron Klain. The same Ron Klain portrayed by Kevin Spacey in Recount, a fantastic film by the way. My favorite character was Michael Whouley, played by Denis Leary. At the time, Ron Klain was CoS to VP Al Gore and is now in the same role in the Obama White House. If I were him, I would feel due for a promotion.