Per the candidate's famous wish, Obama's team ran a remarkably drama-free campaign. So it's a bit curious to see the public drama unfolding over whether Rahm Emanuel accepts his offer to be chief of staff. A colleague reports that an indecisive Rahm was on TV this morning fretting over his family obligations, and that Joe Scarborough was already talking about "bungling" an early appointment, a la the early Bill Clinton. Normally you'd expect Obamaland to have sewed this up before word got out. It may be a reminder that you can hermetically seal a presidential campaign but once you start dealing with Capitol Hill, forget about it.
As of now I don't see this having any real lasting consequences. But there's something else non-ideal here. When I flipped on the local CBS radio station this morning I heard a 30-second segment about Rahm, which featured analysis about how he's a hard-driving and sometimes abrasive partisan who doesn't really mesh with the image Obama promoted in the campaign. It's not a great story for this moment. Seems to me that if Obama has another big appointment up his sleeve--perhaps the announcement that Bob Gates will extend his stay as SecDef, a bipartisan gesture that is on-message--now is the time to pop it.
(About Rahm's family, by the way: I don't know any details here, but I do know that as a Congressman he has very rarely spent weekends here in Washington, routinely flying back to Chicago to be with his wife and kids. A WH chief of staff simply cannot do that, and maybe that's the problem here.)
P.S. Fun fact: Rahm's brother Ari, a Hollywood agent, was the inspiration for the maniacal Ari Gold of HBO's Entourage.