I have no idea how effective Rahm Emanuel is going to be as Barack Obama's Chief of Staff but I can tell you this; the pick makes sense.
Think about it. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are smart politicians. They see a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President and you can be sure, after years of Republican rule, they are antsy to move this country in a liberal direction. Barack Obama campaigned as a centrist so here's where Emanuel will earn his money. He's the key guy in the middle. He's going to have to do Obama's dirty work by working his magic with eager House Democrats who may try and push Obama in a direction he doesn't want to go. Emanuel may have to push back with his Democratic colleagues in order for centrist type legislation to get through Congress and on the President's desk.
You see, you can make the argument that Pelosi and Reid may end up being the biggest thorn in Obama's side. Obama's appeal during the 2008 campaign was that he was a candidate who could bring both sides together. His redistribution policy is liberal but beyond that, he really played the role of centrist in chief. If he is pushed too far left, it will be at his own peril. The country is not far left. It is not far right either. It's somewhere in the middle and for Obama to stay effective and popular he'll probably have to govern in that middle area. The cagey and friendly House Democrat Rahm Emanuel could be the key to keeping House Democrats in line. Obama understands that.