Friday, October 31


There are reports that Obama is considering naming Rahm Emanuel, one of the least pleasant members of the House, as chief of staff. The reports are just short of astounding given Obama's professions of post-partisanship and Emanuel's long list of those he has alienated in his career.

Emanuel's pit bull act is not likely to work to Obama's favor, either. The last thing he needs is the Democratic equivalent of Karl Rove.

Here are few high points from Emanuel's career:

He served as a member of the board of directors for Freddie Mac after leaving the Clinton administration.

One businessman reported getting a call from then Clinton fundraiser Emanuel that began, "The governor's gonna be in Chicago next week, and he wants to see you. Bring $10,000 or don't come."

John Walsh of Counterpunch reports that in January 2005, "when asked by Meet the Press's Tim Russert whether he would have voted to authorize the war - 'knowing that there are no weapons of mass destruction' - Emanuel answered yes. . . In June, 2006, it was obviously time, and Emanuel finally revealed his policy in a statement on the floor of the House during debate over Iraq, thus: 'The debate today is about whether the American people want to stay the course with an administration and a Congress that has walked away from its obligations or pursue a real strategy for success in the war on terror. We cannot achieve the end of victory and continue to sit and watch, stand pat, stay put, status quo and that is the Republican policy. Democrats are determined to take the fight to the enemy.'" A position somewhat at odds with the one Obama so assiduously claimed for himself during the campaign.

Emanuel was a leading strategist in the disastrous Clinton healthcare fiasco. Although Emanuel denied it, Pat Moynihan blamed him for being the source of the anonymous claim that "we'll run over him (i.e. Moynihan) if we have to."

As a White House aide he once reportedly told British prime minister Tony Blair, "This is important. Don't fuck it up."

After Clinton's election, according to Joshua Green in a 2005 Rolling Stone account, "Emanuel was so angry at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting 'Dead! . . . Dead! . . . Dead!' and plunging the knife into the table after every name. 'When he was done, the table looked like a lunar landscape,' one campaign veteran recalls. 'It was like something out of The Godfather.'"

As a member of the Chicago Housing Association in the 1990s he was accused of undermining fair and affordable housing for low-income minorities. Critics cited examples of him leaving citizen meetings on critical issues to talk on his cell phone or take early lunches.


At 1:36 AM, Anonymous PeaceThroughJustice said...

Well at least we'll have an official who's served in the armed services.

Unfortunately, it's the Israeli armed services.

At 3:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama should pick Newt as Chief of Staff. Controversy and reaching across the aisle.

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite agreeing with your concerns about Emanuel, I am from Chicago and let's just say that a lot of what you mention is normal political behavior that is the equivalent of jaywalking in Chicago.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 more years.

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the mysterious censor has struck once again
as even more comments are lost to the abyss.
shame on you Sam

At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe it isn't Sam's fault? Seems as though the original three comments are back and that the later three comments are gone. perhaps there is a server database synchronization issue?

Let's liven this up a bit with a incendiary prediction and see how many people go off-topic as to whether the next Chief of Staff will be Rahmmy or Newt?

Predicition: Obama looses Washington (Dino vs Greggorie), California (Prop 8) and the bitter 'clean-coal' states (bankrupt coal)?

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Elderlady said...

Emanuel wouldn't have been my first choice.

However, he (Obama) managed to keep Biden mostly "on-message", maybe he can do the same to Rahm.

I look at this.... this way:

Emanuel has made no secret of the fact that he wants to be the first-ever Jewish Speaker of the House.

Some people want him to replace Obama in the Senate.

Obama thinks that his Senate seat should be filled by another African-American.

Given the choices, Obama may be following the oldest of poliical adages: "keep you friends close, and you enemies closer."

Pelosi doesn't need the grief in the House. The United States doesn't need Emanuel in the Senate, and neither does Illinois.

Chief of Staff --- may be the place to put him, where he can do the least damage.


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