White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is all but certain to quit and run for Chicago mayor, possibly this week. Which lucky ducky in Washington will replace Emanuel in this miserable, cynical job? Hopefully some hack!
The White House chief of staff's job is to work 24 hours a day telling the president to be less ambitious and then behind-the-scenes to execute whatever the president decides. The most effective candidate for such work is usually a Washington insider sociopath. Emanuel was, and helped usher through some important legislation, but his overpowering personality exacted a huge toll on the White House's image when his penchant for special-interest deals and cursing out the entire Democratic party kept surfacing.
His successor, then, should be in the similar mold of Emanuel's cynical inevitable burn-out case, but maybe someone with fewer well-known and permanent personality problems that always leak to the press? This Politico report floating names indicates the White House will head down this path, rather than taking the unnecessary celebrity route:
The only names being seriously considered to replace Emanuel are three men who are already on Obama's team, according to officials: Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon; Ron Klain, an aide to Vice President Joe Biden; and Obama senior adviser Pete Rouse, who might be called upon to temporarily replace Emanuel until a permanent replacement is found.
The outsiders being mentioned include former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, onetime Clinton chief of staff John Podesta - who has said repeatedly he doesn't want the job - and CIA Director Leon Panetta.
These two models - a "super-staffer" in the mold of Donilon or Klain, or a "surrogate" in the mold of Daschle or Panetta - both have been debated inside the West Wing, with Obama insiders now expecting a pick in the super-staffer mold. The reason, in part, is because some of the more boldfaced names already in the administration, such as outgoing economic adviser Larry Summers and National Security Adviser James Jones, haven't always worked out.
That's about right. Pick an insider hack! Pick Hacky McBackRoomDeals. There's no need to go "big" on this evil, evil job.
[Image via AP]