While Obama’s agenda remains forever stalled, his chief of staff may be on the receiving end of some unfortunate political realities, leaving his job in question following the midterm elections. “Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s outspoken chief of staff, has become embroiled in a public row with his critics amid accusations that he has damaged the standing of the presidency and undermined his boss. Emanuel has become the subject of an intense war of words between those who blame him for the failings of Obama’s tough first year in office and those who insist that Obama should have listened to him more. If the controversy deepens any further, some feel that he may be forced to resign. The development has been remarkable for a man in Emanuel’s job, which calls for him to adopt a behind-the-scenes role similar to that of a Mafia boss’s consigliere, whispering advice in the ear of the president and then strong-arming political targets into obeying his master’s will. But critics say the row shows just how much of a strain Obama’s first year of office has taken on his top White House team after a series of political setbacks, especially over healthcare. Officials in Obama’s administration, who once appeared so united, now seem to be in siege mode and starting to fight among themselves. ‘It was inevitable that this would happen on one level. You have a president with an ambitious agenda and they have not been getting as much done as they had hoped,’ said John Geer, editor of the Journal of Politics and a political scientist at Vanderbilt University.”
Who — or what — really controls your mind?