I believe that Rahm Emanuel is a very effective politician. However, he is one of the most partisan hacks in Washington. Even Lindsay Graham, who I like, is praising the choice of Emanuel as Obama's Chief of Staff.
The 48 year-old served as a member of President Clinton's staff and was the person to think up Clinton's fundraising-instead-of-campaigning schedule of 1992. This paid off big time. Emanuel also backed the Iraq War in 2002. However, his biggest accomplishment was planning the Dems' takeover of Congress in 2006.
Emanuel is partisan, so it's yet to be seen what Obama is planning. Emanuel definitely helped Obama create 'change,' but may also annoy the Republicans, cutting back on bipartisanship.