Don't Believe the Hype: Rahm Emanuel Not Having Problems With Obama

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel looks on during a diplomatic meeting in Washington, D.C. Olivier Douliery / Getty Images-pool

Everyone from Slate to National Review is credulously citing a report in The Daily Telegraph that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is planning to leave after the midterm elections.

It's silly that a report from a unnamed source to a British newspaper with no sources to speak of in the White House would be given such credence today. The truth is this: Emanuel has said publicly and privately for months that if Rich Daley doesn't seek reelection (which he will determine at the end of the year) for mayor of Chicago, Rahm will move back home and jump in the race. He may leave his job then anyway, mostly because he's just tired. But he continues to enjoy Obama's full confidence and he has no political problem with the thrust of Obama's decisions. In fact, he has been very much a part of them.

Rahm told me for The Promise: "I begged the president not to do health care" in 2009. But once Obama decided to move ahead, Rahm worked tirelessly to get it done and took great satisfaction in the bill's signing. He is equally involved in everything else of consequence.
It's a sign of something wrong in the reporting apparatus of Washington that this British report is taken at at face value. Emanuel might leave next year, but not for the reasons of disillusionment the Brits say. It reminds me of when a British paper reported in the 1970s that President Carter was growing a beard to be more like Lincoln. Nice story. Got a lot of attention. Only problem: it's not true.