Profiles

What About Rahm?

“Emanuel seems to serve as a virtual prime minister, the most powerful chief of staff since James Baker managed the White House during Ronald Reagan’s first term,” declares a new profile in The New York Times Magazine. Why then is he so unpopular these days? Both conservatives and liberals hate him—the former say he’s pushed Obama’s ambitious agenda and the latter say he’s not ambitious enough. The Times profile sheds some light on his role in the White House: “Reagan and Obama chose their chiefs of staff to serve exactly as they did,” Peter Baker writes. But Obama and Rahm are not as close as you might suspect—“more friendly than friends.” Apparently, the grumbling about Rahm has annoyed Obama. An aide tells Baker that Obama’s “irritated by the stories” and Emanuel has “expressed regret” to the president. Separately, Politico reports that Obama has told his staff to ignore the palace intrigue.