Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.

Today's question:


What does all of the chatter surrounding White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel say about the White House?

Some background reading here.

David Schanzer, Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said:

Politics is the art of the possible.  Those who believe that the United States transformed itself from the country that reelected George Bush by 3 million votes in 2004 to a country clamoring for a new New Deal a mere four years later are living in a dream world.
The Obama Administration is on the cusp of enacting the most progressive piece of social legislation in a half a century during the worst recession in a century.  Critics should let Emanuel focus on this important task.

Hal Lewis,
professor of Physics at UC Santa Barbara, said:

It's SOP in a weak White House. At the root of it is the fact that Obama himself has no substance, though he fooled a lot of people for a long time, and everything else flows from that. It's been a long time since we have had a strong and capable president; our system works against it. (I call it the Archimedes theory of politics: other things being equal, the lightweights rise to the top.)

John Feehery, Pundits Blog contributor, said:

The problems that are plaguing the White House can't be pinned on Rahm. Only one person deserves the blame. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama pays tribute to Merkel Supreme Court agrees to review Texas's 6-week abortion ban Youngkin to launch bus tour on same day as Obama, McAuliffe event in Virginia MORE may be a very smart guy and a great speechmaker, but he doesn't have the experience or the moxie to be a great president. It’s not about the staff. It is about the president.

Glenn Reynolds
of Instapundit said:

Unity is easy when things are going well. Backbiting and fingerpointing start when things go badly. The leak attacks on Rahm Emanuel indicate that things are going badly.

Cheri Jacobus, Pundits Blog contributor, said:

When Obama's "Chicago world" implodes and his hometown loyalists start falling away from the White House, one by one, like cockroaches and Cher, Rahm Emanuel will survive the rest of them and be the one left standing.

Craig Newmark, founder of, said:

I think it mostly says that there are publications that feel a need to manufacture controversy.