Who is Pete Rouse, the new WH chief of staff?

This is a nice Countdown segment on the incoming White House chief of staff, as Rahm Emanuel blunders his way into Chicago.

The new guy is Pete Rouse, who plays nicely with Republicans. This is an informative piece, and a little complex in that it doesn’t sum to a single idea. Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone called him the man “who brought ‘no drama’ to Obama”, and Keith credits him with making the Elizabeth Warren appointment fly with her opponents.

Yet in the first minute, Olbermann also says that Rouse is an ex-Daschle aide who “works well across party lines” — like we don’t have enough of that already from these guys.

And then there’s the question of does he also “play nicely with progressives?” Keith and Richard Wolffe, who seems to have lost his consultant tag, talk that through. (The Wolffe interview starts at 1:55 in the clip.)


See what I mean? On the one hand, Rahm was the fighter; too bad he fought with the wrong people. On the other hand, Pete is more conciliatory; but will he “conciliate” with the wrong people, the right people, or with everyone? There’s a way this could be OK, and a way it could go way wrong.

We’ll see if Wolffe’s assertions in the last half-minute of the interview are true, that “they” realize that Repubs are a no-go from here on out and Fox is their enemy. Color me not sure. I’ve had that Hope thing kind of kicked out of me. I’m in a “prove it” state of mind these days.

By the way, Pete Rouse’s Wikipedia page is interesting. Among other things, it says:

Rouse also is credited with persuading Obama to vote against the nomination of John G. Roberts, who was nevertheless confirmed and is now Chief Justice of the United States.

Really? Obama needed convincing? And Rouse got it right. As I said, complex.

Update: Added Daschle link.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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