I'm going to keep using that headline, until dude is out the White House. Anyway, coming off a slew of pro-Rahm profiles, I think David Broder is right, and Ezra Klein is more right. Here's more right:
The argument goes like this: "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." That advice would've gone like this: Do less on health care, move to jobs earlier, don't try to close Guantanamo.Though I'm an avowed defender of Rahm Emanuel's performance as chief of staff, I'd be calling for his head if he were calling these shots. This critique only makes sense if you think about the presidency in terms of poll numbers rather than problems. Health-care reform, for instance, is inches from passage. If not for Scott Brown's unexpected victory in Massachusetts, it would have passed weeks ago. We'd be on our way to implementing a bill that would cover 30 million Americans, completely reform the insurance market, make a serious start on cost control, end the days when sick people couldn't get health insurance, and create a new coverage infrastructure that could absorb the flood of refugees from the dying employer-based system. That deserves some weight in this discussion.