EMANUEL ACCEPTS, WILL BE COS…. One major staffing decision down, several thousand to go.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), a wily, aggressive West Wing strategist under President Bill Clinton, has accepted the post of White House chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama, Democratic officials tell Politico.

The selection is the first major public decision by Obama since he was elected in a landslide on Tuesday.

The announcement will send a signal that Obama is eager to work with Congress and plans a swift launch of an aggressive agenda that will focus on the economy, taxes, energy, education and health care….. Obama advisers say he likes and trusts Emanuel and believes his mastery of Capitol Hill will help speed his proposals at a time when money is tight and the nation’s problems are great.

While there was some back and forth on whether Emanuel really had agreed to take the job, this time, it appears to be official. The AP and the Washington Post are reporting the same thing.

On a related note, Michael Crowley raised a good point about how speculation about Emanuel leaked early, and has been the subject of ample media speculation over the last day and a half. “Normally you’d expect Obamaland to have sewed this up before word got out,” Crowley noted. “It may be a reminder that you can hermetically seal a presidential campaign but once you start dealing with Capitol Hill, forget about it.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.