For a guy who is supposed to be winning the shutdown scuffle, this withdrawal of his FERC nominee comes at an embarrassing time. Politico spends time in the loser's lockerroom while the WSJ Editors page take a victoy lap. And do note that the failure of this nominee in the Senate can't be blamed on intransigent House Republicans (although I imagine it will be!):
A majority of the Energy Committee—likely including Democrats Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)—was poised to reject Mr. Binz to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. Mr. Binz's hostility to all fossil fuels and radical conception of regulators as legislators was too much for energy-state Democrats.
Obama continues to have no traction on anything resembling a domestic agenda, so he needs this shutdown to rally his base.
Of course, plenty of safe-seat Congressmen of both parties are also enjoying their rally. But that has become par for the course. A lack of national leadership from our erstwhile national leaders has led to a new wrinkle.