There are two members of the national political press corps who know Obama better than Rahm Emanuel, and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times is one of them. After the press conference, I heard David Axelrod comforting a reporter whose name was on the questions list but whose turn didn't come up. "Well, if it hadn't been for one of your colleagues," he said, referring to Zeleny's quartet of adjectival queries. But really: Zeleny knows Obama. Covered him from his Chicago days. He can get away with stuff like this ... you could see it in the way Obama smiled at him. I think Zeleny covers Obama with a critical eye, but Obama clearly likes the handsome ex-Nebraskan and feels a kinship with him. They both went through a lot...together.
Marc Ambinder is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.