The White House is in the midst of rebranding the president as a pragmatic problem solver prepared to set aside ideology to address a compelling need (see last week's concession on ozone regulations), a reasonable man in an era dominated by extreme views.
I'm not sure that qualifies as "rebranding"–I think that's been the Obama "brand" all along.
More worrisome is the notion of "pragmatism" here. It's not clear whether the White House offered the ozone rule as evidence of Obama's pragmatism, or if this is the Times' view. Either way, it doesn't really make sense–unless you believe that there's a "compelling need" for dirtier air, or that wanting fewer deaths from air pollution is an "extreme view." Or, come to think of it, you define cleaner air as a "problem" that is "solved" by loosening pollution rules.