arack Obama clearly intends to get things done in Washington, said Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post online. That much was clear when he picked the first high-level member of his administration—Ill. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who will be Obama's chief of staff. Emanuel has a hard-nosed reputation, but he's the "ultimate political pragmatist" and understands that "reaching across the aisle for Republican support is absolutely essential to Obama's political brand."
Obama talks a lot about bipartisanship, said Pejman Yousefzadeh in RedState. But choosing a Democratic attack dog like Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff "doesn't remotely" match Obama's words. "No amount of rhetorical eloquence" can cover up the fact that Obama is "not the Messiah" after all—"he's just another politician."
Emanuel "is a brawler," said Ezra Klein in the American Prospect online, so this appointment is bound to be disheartening to anybody who hoped that "the Obama administration would be all about bringing people together" by saying please. But picking Emanuel, a veteran of the Clinton administration, "suggests Obama is taking the politics of congressional persuasion extremely seriously, and in that sense, it's heartening."
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