I'm inclined to agree with Joe Klein's take on the choice of Pete Rouse to serve as Rahm Emanuel's replacement:
I don't know Rouse very well. I don't know what his priorities will be. Early reports emphasized his "calming" effect and his long career as a Congressional insider. But if this no-drama White House gets any calmer, it'll be comatose. There's a need for energetic, non-Congressional, non-insider voices in the inner circle. Some wise executives like Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell would be welcome.
It's not that I think that the White House needs someone "energetic" -- whatever that means -- but that for the next phase of Obama's presidency, the locus of action will shift from Congress to the executive branch, as a Republican majority in either the House or Senate will make effective legislation impossible. For domestic policy, odds are good that Obama's attention will move to the bureaucracy as he begins to implement policy and find ways to do more with less. At the very least, this moment calls for a chief of staff well versed in the bureaucracy of the federal government, regardless of whether that person is a loyalist or "outsider."
-- Jamelle Bouie
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