Emanuel ... could have helped the administration avoid its current bind if the president had heeded his advice on some of the most sensitive subjects of the year: health-care reform, jobs and trying alleged terrorists in civilian courts.
... [Emanuel] was not aggressive enough in trying to persuade a singularly self-assured president and a coterie of true-believer advisers that "change you can believe in" is best pursued through accomplishments you can pass.
By all accounts, Obama selected Emanuel for his experience in the Clinton White House, his long relationships with the media and Democratic donors, and his well-established -- and well-earned -- reputation as a political enforcer, all of which neatly counterbalanced Obama's detached, professorial manner....
... Obama went for the historically far-reaching, but more legislatively difficult, achievements that he and his campaign-forged inner circle believe they were sent to Washington to deliver.Read the whole thing. There's some great detail about closing Guantanamo and trying KSM. I don't know who the sources are for Horowitz's article. It reads like PR for Emanuel. Eric Holder is portrayed as stuck on abstract principle, while David Axelrod is blinded by his "strong view" of Obama as a big "historic character."
[A]n early Obama supporter who is close to the president and spoke on the condition of anonymity... blamed Obama's charmed political life for creating a self-confidence and trust in principle that led to an "indifference to doing the small, marginal things a White House could do to mitigate the problems on the Hill. Rahm knows the geography better."Hmm. Does Rahm talk about himself in the third person? It rings true though! This does sound like what history will record as Obama's tragic flaw: overconfidence and attachment to abstract principles (borne of the great good luck of fitting the template others had so much hope for).