Atom Rahm

President-elect Obama’s pick of his crony, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, as chief of staff may be payback to the Clintons for them not only hitting the campaign trail for their former rival, but for Bubba keeping his, uh, trap shut. But it turns out the Clintons were neutralized after the market went belly up in September. Obama took over the situation and made it his own. In the end, Obama accomplished what the Clintons said during the primaries that he couldn’t do in the general election — like winning in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. Not to mention capturing the majority of the Latino vote.

Emanuel worked in the Clinton White House, and there’s already criticism that Obama is making this look like a Clinton third term (even though the president-elect hasn’t officially named the people who will serve in his Cabinet.) But Obama’s pick of Emanuel could turn out to be his Achilles’ heel as he hits the ground running. Emanuel is a little man with an oversized ego. He has an ambitious streak that makes Mitt Romney look like a slacker. His appearances on cablenetwork newshave not beenimpressive — he comes off snarky and stubborn.At times he’s evenvindictive. Example:It’s well-documented that he once sent one of his harshest critics a dead fish in the mail. You gotta wonder about a guy who takes “The Godfather” a little too seriously.

Emanuel’s reputation is such that he’s likely to go off message and get defensive when he’s challenged. A better choice may have been Colin Powell — who shares the same temperment as the president-elect.

Every administrationhas its controversial figures — certainly W.’s with the bogey-man himself, Dick Cheney. And for a while there we had the Billary presidency. Obama’s trouble-maker could behis chief of staff. Pundits and pols who know Emanuel say he’s not above using the most gosh-awful four-letter word of all four-letter words. So Emanuel comes to the job already with a potential media-dubbed moniker: F-bomb Rahm. But, hey, Obama swears by him.

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