"The debate that is coming will be over how large his early agenda will be and how quickly he will move to try to enact it," Balz writes. "One adviser noted that there is a difference between being bold and being rash, suggesting that, as president, Obama will set big goals for the country but with a realistic timetable."
Karl Rove gives credit where it's do (the Davids Plouffe and Axelrod) but sound a warning: "Many Americans were drawn to Mr. Obama because they saw in him what they wanted to see. He became a large vessel into which voters placed their hopes," Rove writes in his Wall Street Journal column. "This can lead to disappointment and regret. What of the woman who, in the closing days of the campaign, rejoiced that Mr. Obama would pay for her gas and take care of her mortgage, tasks that no president can shoulder?"
Leading the charge: a friend about much has been and will be said, little that would use words like "hope," "dream," and "nice."
"To many Democrats, including some who are close to both men, Mr. Obama's choice of Mr. Emanuel to run the White House seems at odds with the atmosphere Mr. Obama enforced at his Chicago campaign headquarters. The motto there was 'No drama with Obama," in contrast with the backbiting and shakeups in rivals' campaigns,' Jackie Calmes writes in The New York Times.
"Some Democrats say former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who is as laid-back as Mr. Emanuel is brusque, would be a better fit. Several have privately expressed or relayed reservations to Mr. Obama about Mr. Emanuel. To one Mr. Obama replied, 'Rahm's grown a lot.' "
"In turning to Mr. Emanuel and [John] Podesta, Mr. Obama sought out two of the hardest-hitting veterans of President Bill Clinton's administration, known for their deep Washington experience, savvy and no-holds-barred approach to politics," The New York Times' Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny report. "Neither is considered a practitioner of the 'new politics' that Mr. Obama promised on the campaign trail to bring Republicans and Democrats together, suggesting that the cool and conciliatory new president is determined to demonstrate toughness from the beginning."
Wait until the nation starts hearing Rahm stories: "Rep. Rahm Emanuel might not appear to be the obvious choice for White House chief of staff for a president-elect who speaks eloquently of setting aside partisan differences and bringing the country together," the Chicago Tribune's Naftali Bendavid writes. "The Illinois congressman, after all, is best known as something of a Democratic political assassin. From his days as a top aide to President Clinton to his recent role leading the Democrats to a House majority, Emanuel has relentlessly attacked his foes and gone ruthlessly after anyone who stood in his way."
Geoff Earle, in the New York Post: "H.R. Haldeman, White House chief of staff to President Richard Nixon, famously said, 'Every president needs a son of a bitch, and I am Nixon's.' And many observers believe Emanuel fits nicely in that slot."