The Second Most Powerful?

President Obama's famously hotheaded and legendarily crude chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, may be the "second most powerful man in the country," ahead of Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reports. Emanuel is a far greater political celebrity than previous chiefs of staff, inspiring sketches on Saturday Night Live and articles in Mad magazine, but his behind the scenes role is crucial to carrying out Obama's agenda. He had a hand in bringing in nearly every member of the new Cabinet as well as top White House staff and is the president's point man for dealing with Congress. His reputation as a hothead also gives him an instant reputation as Obama's "enforcer." The president once joked that an injury to Emanuel's middle finger as a teenager "rendered him practically mute."