FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
All the president's men are headed for the exits... or at least a lot of them are.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is leaving his job in the West Wing on Friday to maybe run for mayor of Chicago, Illinois.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/30/art.rahm.jpg caption="White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel."]
And Emanuel isn't the only member of President Obama's inner-circle, also known as the Chicago Mafia, who's leaving or has left the administration.
Senior adviser David Axelrod plans to return to Chicago after the midterm elections to start working on the president's re-election campaign.
The president's economic team is also pretty much history. Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, is going back to Harvard. Peter Orszag, the budget director, and Christina Romer, head of the council of economic advisers, have both left.
Over at the Defense Department, Secretary Robert Gates - who also served under George Bush - has suggested he plans to step down before President Obama's first term is over.
Of course, working for any administration is tough business. The hours are long, the pressure is intense, and it's not unusual to see lots of turnover in these jobs.
In President Obama's case, his approval numbers are sinking and his party faces an uphill battle in the midterm elections, but he now has a chance to bring in some new blood.
The replacement selections could be critical. Depending on whom he picks, President Obama might be able to deflect criticism that his administration is insular and out of touch. Or not.
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Layne in Illinois writes:
Jack, Pretty darned important if he's planning on making any correct decisions in the near future. If he keeps surrounding himself with political hacks and the economic "geniuses" he chose to start with, he'll be toast (or lame-duck) for his remaining time.
Danny in Tennessee writes:
I think what we see here is the classic case of rats deserting a sinking ship. Who Obama replaces them with is really irrelevant at this point. The Democrats have had 4 years to change the course of America and all they have succeeded at is driving the bus over the edge of a cliff. They can try and blame it on who ever they want to but the fact is they controlled Congress for 4 years. America is not willing to give them another 4.
You are always judged by the company you keep.
Rahn in Minnesota writes:
The people around the president are the "filters" that decide who the president sees, what the president sees, when it is seen, and for how long it is seen. If that doesn't explain the importance of these people, then I don't know what will.
They can make or break a presidency. Just ask Jimmy Carter. Those bunch of idiots cost him a second term.
Annie in Atlanta writes:
The president's numbers are sinking, in part, because of liberals like me who are offended by people like Emanuel disparaging the president's base, and Rubinites like Summers and Geithner, who may have had a hand in enriching their Wall Street buddies, at our expense. The people surrounding the President have to be in touch with the mood of the country. That means us poor slobs who are obviously good for nothing but eating cake and voting every couple of years.
It is really important! Remember the presidency is an institution, not a man, and having the proper team makes the difference.
Paul in Hawaii writes:
Jack, The S.S. Team Obama was struck by an iceberg named "TEA PARTY", and the rats aren't sticking around waiting for the lifeboats to drop.