My comment here is that, as a political junkie, I've been hoping and expecting that Rahm Emanuel's tenure as White House chief of staff will end with something a little more spectacular than simply being burnt out after two years. Here's what I said back in August:
Emanuel is by my count the fifth WH Chief of Staff who previously served in elected office. Two (Panetta and Howard Baker) retired on their own terms; two others, Sherman Adams and John Sununu, resigned after scandal, but odds are in both cases the scandal was a result of the enemies created by their style in office rather than a result of particular ethical shortcomings (I'm confident that's true of Sununu, but I'm only really guessing on Adams -- I don't know the history well enough to say).We here at Plain Blog wouldn't wish misfortune on anyone, but I am really fond of entertaining political scandals, and I guess I'll be a bit disappointed if Rahm's downfall doesn't involve something like visiting the dentist the wrong way. Just making him the fall guy for a lousy midterm election would be, in my view, a bit sad.
I think it's an fairly safe prediction that Rahm ends up more like Adams/Sununu than like Panetta/H. Baker. He's most likely an excellent chief of staff, but odds are he's making plenty of enemies, and when he does something dumb they'll all pounce. Just the nature of the job.
I guess I can add one more thing to that. One can never tell about individuals and their career choices; outsiders can see the incentives, but we can't know how they actually react to those incentives. So it's possible that Rahm Emanuel actually wants only two years as White House Chief of Staff. Really, however...I suspect that in the event, most people would rather stay than leave. And why not? Rahm Emanuel will never have as much influence over politics and public affairs as he does right now. He clearly likes having such influence, or at least he's run his life as if that's what he likes. I can't quite see someone with that record walking away from it voluntarily. I'm not saying it couldn't happen; as I said, one can never tell about individuals and their career choices. I just don't expect it.