According to a Washington Post profile, Rahm Emanuel — hired as White House chief-of-staff for his legislative cunning—has been right on almost every issue from the Manhattan terror trial to jobs and healthcare. But no one listened.
Instead, according to the Post, many were caught up in the historic nature of Obama's presidency and thus overstretched somewhat. Emanuel, meanwhile, quietly blasphemed and raged to himself while getting behind whatever he was told to get behind.
Who knows what's really going on in the White House. We'll probably only find out in post-mortem tell-all books. But this sounds awfully plausible:
[Senior advisor David] Axelrod has a strong view of the historic character Obama is supposed to be," said an early Obama supporter who is close to the president and spoke on the condition of anonymity to give a frank assessment of frustration with the White House. The source blamed Obama's charmed political life for creating a self-confidence and trust in principle that led to an "indifference to doing the small, marginal things a White House could do to mitigate the problems on the Hill. Rahm knows the geography better.