By Carole on Sep 7, 2010
Media pundits got a break today from speculating on just how big the Republican wave will be in November. Instead they got to speculate on who will be President Barack Obama's next Chief of Staff if Rahm Emanuel decides to run for mayor of Chicago now that current Mayor Richard Daley has decided not to seek a seventh term.
Back in January Mr. Emanuel, who the New York Times called 'the principal author of Mr. Obama's do-everything-at-once strategy', told people that the Chief of Staff role is an 18-month job and that he is considering a run for mayor of the Windy City. (source) Since then there had been pseudo denials and coy hints that he wanted to run but nothing would be definite until Mayor Daley made his decision. And now he has.
Turnover in an administration is common after mid-term elections and if the president's party suffers the kind of humiliating losses expected this year, turnover may well be demanded by Mr. Obama's fellow Democrats. Mr. Emanuel's voluntary departure to run in Chicago could give the illusion of changing things up and prevent the firing of some other top level adviser to the president. (Finally the administration could take legitimate credit for saving a job!)
The vacant Chief of Staff position would also give the president a great opportunity to show the American people and a dramatically realigned Congress that he is listening and ready to step away from his failed far-left agenda. He could choose a replacement that would demonstrate a move toward a more Bill-Clinton-after-the-1994-midterms centrist approach to government. But chances are he'll pass on that opportunity.
According to Politico's Ben Smith, Mr. Emanuel has told Chicago associates who he believes will likely succeed him and it's senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. (source) Such a choice would signal that, rather than taking at least a small step toward reality, the president is doubling down on his current approach and ideology.
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