For two years he promised the country that he’d govern in a new way.
He pledged a break from the old divisions and the old games.
An end to the name-calling and petty bickering.
This was a staple of his stump speech and of his appeal, particularly to independents soured on politics as usual and the Washington gotcha games, and to the young people who gave the Obama campaign so much of its energy and person-power.
The goofiness of the last week was a betrayal of all of that.
A nationally-prominent Democrat – granted anonymity to speak freely – put it this way:
“[Rahm Emanuel] is the chief of staff to the president, not the hatchet man who once worked for President Clinton. He hasn’t recognized that he’s in a different role now.”