Anticipating the possible announcement of a change at the helm of the U.S. government's cabinet, L'Osservatore Romano said this was President Barack Obama's first move to form a "new team" ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. In the meantime, the Vatican's semi-official paper observed, his party's prospects for the November elections are "not exactly rosy."
By the print deadline in Rome, the announcement that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had stepped down had not yet been made. Later on Friday, however, President Obama bid farewell to Emanuel, welcoming senior adviser Pete Rouse into the position, at least for the interim.
Foreseeing this choice, the paper reported that in the selection Obama has "chosen continuity," considering that Rouse lent Obama a hand when he was elected to the Illinois state senate in 2004.
LOR said that, certainly, "the departure of Emanuel will be the occasion for Obama to seriously begin thinking of a new team in view of the presidential (elections) of 2012, given that the prospects for the midterm politics, in November, are not exactly rosy."
At least 36 U.S. Senate seats and all 435 House seats are being contested in the Nov. 2 midterm elections in which the Democratic presence, which has the majority in both houses of Congress, is expected to decrease.