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Republicans Worship At Rahm's Altar

Ever since Obama picked his chief of staff, I haven't been able to open my email inbox without being inundated by a tide of huffy, anti-Rahm Emanuel emails from conservative pals or relatives: Rahm's so "mean," he's "partisan," he indiscriminately drops the f-bomb, boo hoo, and doesn't this all reflect so badly on Obama, who, with his selection of Rahm, failed his first test of his ability to offer "change you can believe in"?

But evidently Washington Republicans aren't so dismissive of the Rahm pick. The always-interesting National Journal Insiders' Poll found that, while 96 percent of the Democratic movers and shakers the mag surveyed thought Rahm would be effective in his new gig -- no surprise there -- 93 percent of Republican insiders thought he was a good choice, too. In fact, the quotes from GOP respondents are more adulatory than the responses from the Democrats. Here's just one from the GOP section of the survey:

Rahm was a brilliant choice. He is tough enough to deal with congressional Democrats, smart enough to reach out to Republicans, pragmatic enough to keep the administration from veering too far to the left, and controversial enough to become the lightning rod that Obama needs to keep the heat off the president and on the staff. Rahm is doing this at considerable self-sacrifice. Had he stayed in the House, he would have become speaker. He is trading future power for immediate influence. He is also putting the good of his team above his own career interests. That is a rare quality among politicians.

Quick, hire this guy as a White House p.r. man!

--Eve Fairbanks