(iht).Earlier this month, Barack Obama was meeting with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and other lawmakers when Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, began nervously cracking a knuckle.
Obama then turned to complain to Emanuel about his noisy habit.
At which point, Emanuel held the offending knuckle up to Obama's left ear and, like an annoying little brother, snapped off a few special cracks.
The episode, relayed by someone familiar with the incident, underscores some essential truths about Emanuel: He is brash, has a deep comfort level with his new boss and has been ever-present at Obama's side of late, in meetings, on podia and in numerous photographs.
There he was, standing at Obama's desk in one of the first Oval Office pictures; there he was again, playfully thumbing his nose at his former House colleagues during the inauguration; there he was, accompanying the president to a meeting with congressional leaders on Friday.