Obama's Pick of Emanuel Shows He Means Business

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2008 9:59 PM CST
Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., talks with reporters as he leaves his local congressional office for the night, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008 in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Republicans say Barack Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff is a sign that the president-elect has no intention of making good on his promise to "heal the divides" of Washington. But the pick is "a powerful signal of Obama’s determination to be effective under the existing rules of the Washington game," write Ben Smith and John F. Harris in a Politico analysis. "He's willing to do what it takes to win."

Emanuel is a "composite" of the three usual types of chief of staff, the piece points out. He's a close friend of his boss, a powerful public figure in his own right, and a master operative in Washington. And despite his legendary temper and his reputation as a fierce partisan—which he gained by necessity while running the House election campaigns—Emanuel actually shades closer to the pragmatic center and has good relations with members of both parties.