Roger L. Simon

Anita Dunn gone - is this the beginning of the night of the long knives?

Word has been leaked by the Washington Post’s insidery The Fix that White House communications director Anita Dunn will be the first Obama senior staffer to “resign” at the end of this month. I guess they don’t count czars as senior staff, but no matter. What’s interesting in The Fix’s rather lengthy report is that there is no mention of the red elephant in the room – ‘Papa Mao Tse-Tung,” as we used to say in the sixties. No, The Fix’s Chris Cillizza dances around, seemingly linking Dunn’s downfall, if that’s what it is, to her leading the administration’s charge against Fox News (taking one for the team, I suppose). He doesn’t mention Dunn’s notorious remarks at a high school graduation, when she cited Mao and Mother Teresa as her mentors.

Of course there’s this, so who knows?

The passing of the baton from Dunn to Pfeiffer had long been expected within White House circles as she had made clear when she took the job that the “interim” in her title was meant to be taken literally.

Hard to tell if that’s real or spin or, more probably, both, but Cillizza’s report also contains this eye-opening tidbit:

Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff and former Illinois Congressman, has made clear he would like to return to elected office at some point in the not-too-distant future and, if past presidencies are any guide there will be some further turnover in the senior staff over the next year or so.

Rahm Emanuel? The man who exhorted his colleagues never to miss the opportunities offered by a good crisis? Is he the next to go? Have we begun the night of the long Obama knives?