Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Did We Elect Rahm Emanuel Last Night? I Want My Money Back


You may have guessed that Ken and I haven't been terribly pleased about having Rahm Emanuel around the House of Representatives pulling the strings to betray working families and pushing his corporate agenda at every opportunity-- not to mention, standing behind the curtains at the DCCC making sure plenty of reactionaries and Republicans got recruited to run as Democrats. As great as it was to see Rahm's creature Tim Mahoney go down in FL-16 yesterday (along with fellow fake Dems Nick Lampson and Don Cazayoux) it's mind boggling how many conservative Democrats were recruited in this cycle. (Please don't say "But he doesn't run the DCCC any more." He's still on the recruitment committee, which is "run" by one of his shills, Artur Davis and how much sway he has over Chris Van Hollen is only an argument about degree.) So let's remember Rahm Emanuel when we start watching the votes roll in from Bobby Bright (AL), Parker Griffith (AL), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Suzanne Kosmas (FL), Debbie Halvorson (IL), Frank Kratovil (MD), Harry Teague (NM), Michael McMahon (NY), Steve Dreihaus (OH), John Boccieri (OH), Gerald Connolly (VA), and Glenn Nye (VA)-- a dozen new voices against progressive values and ideals.

So I have mixed emotions about the flurry of reports circulating widely that Obama asked him to take the chief of staff job. A friend in the Obama camp said he doesn't think its true. But maybe it is. Remember, Emanuel also circulated rumors earlier this year that Obama wanted him for VP. MSNBC has gone so far as to claim that Emanuel even accepted the job-- and then updated it and denied it.

I also love the idea that Illinois' corrupt and beleaguered governor-- and Emanuel benefactor-- Rod Blagojevich, won't be appointing Emanuel-- or himself-- to Obama's Senate seat.

So let's wait and see if the spectre of Emanuel as chief of staff is just another odious Evan Bayh as VP ploy before we start wishing Palin had won. Besides, if we want to dwell on rumors, how about all the cabinet positions being bandied about. My fave was Olympia Snowe (R-ME) as EPA head-- which puts Tom Allen in the Senate where he belongs? I guess that job's already promised to RFK, Jr. though-- just as Colin Powell as Secretary of Defense and/or Education. Here are more:

Caroline Kennedy- Ambassador to the UN
Emanuel- anything he wants if he decides he doesn't want to be Chief of Staff
Larry Summers- Secretary of the Treasury (or maybe Robert Rubin or even Henry Paulson)
Tom Daschle- Secretary of Wimpiness
A Daley for something; you can always use someone with that bloodline for something... wet
Robert Gates- if Powell or Emanuel or Lieberman or someone doesn't become Secretary of Defense; at least we won't have to buy new furniture and drapes and stuff.

Susan Rice or Greg Craig- National Security Advisor
John Kerry, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd or Richard Lugar as Secretary of State (what happened to Chuck Hagel?)
Janet Napolitano or Eric Holder or Deval Patrick as Attorney General

And there are plenty more at HuffPo-- from Sam Nunn, Eugene Ludwig, Chet Edwards, and Lee Hamilton to Hillary, Jack Reed, David Bonior to Howard Dean, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lincoln Chafee and even sillier suggestions. And the Washington Post probably has Obama laughing too. Ed Rendell? Fred Smith? (the Fed Ex guy)

Even if he does give Emanuel a job, at least this guy (or anyone else from the monster years) won't be hired for anything... I don't think:

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At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, that's disappointing. At least it gets him out of Congress.

The repubs are going to be proved dead wrong again, this time about Obama being "liberal". He's not, and won't be.

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen this being pushed in a couple of blogs as good, because Rahm's going to be a bully getting things done for Obama in the Congress. Silly me; that's not what I thought the Chief of Staff did. I thought he acted as a gatekeeper to the president. Am I wrong about this?

As to having him out of Congress--that doesn't make one bit of difference. Remember the blog this is attached to? He's not in charge of the DCCC either, but he runs it, anyway. RE doesn't let go of power just because he switches positions.

An odious person, in any case. A prehistoric Democrat who thinks the way to elect them is to use stealth Republicans.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Fred Smith is a hardcore Rethuglican. If Obama is going to appoint a Republican, can he at least appoint Lincoln Chafee to something? Chafee is a decent and honorable man. I think Rahmbo would be decent for CoS. Remember, he'd be implementing Obama's policies.

He also serves as the gatekeeper. It's not in and of itself a bad thing. It all depends on Obama really and the rules he lays down.

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rahm as the WH Chief of Staff? A central position. As Jimmy the Saint wrote, yes, he'd be the primary gatekeeper to the Oval Office, as well as a primary point man on the administration's legislative team.

If the reports are true, and if Rahm accepts, my hope is that Pres. Obama will be strong enough personally to still insist on hearing progressive viewpoints. Obama has a reputation for seeking input, and actually listening . . . but, at its worst - as in under Emanuel's watch - that could lead to strangulation by triangulation.

On the other hand, I sense about Emanuel that he would want a position where he would have much more visibility. Although Chief of Staff is a powerful position (remember where Darth Cheney was in the Ford years), it may not provide the face time in the media. But where else to put him? He'd probably not want too much other than the very top echelon positions at the most visible power centers. And certainly, although not the highest in visibility, Rahm may trade visibility for the power of Chief of Staff.

Now watch what happens . . . Tom Daschle accepts, and two days later Rahm resigns to spend more time with his family . . .

At 2:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer.

President-Elect Obama can ask for his resignation after the mid-terms.

At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He also serves as the gatekeeper. It's not in and of itself a bad thing. It all depends on Obama really and the rules he lays down."

I wasn't very clear, was I? I meant my remarks sarcastically, at that point, because Rahm's role as CoS is being touted in places like Huffington Post as allowing to fight Obama's battles in Congress. Which it doesn't do. The CoS is powerful enough as it is; and the man who holds the key to the golden cage in which the president sits holds a great deal of power. Even if Rahm finds his opinions are desired but not automatically followed, I think he will temperamentally be unable to give up his hold on the position.

This whole thing has obvious overtones of Lincoln-Seward. Seward tried to do a few end-runs around Lincoln after the latter first took office, the most notable example of which was an ill-conceived attempt to take the reigns of diplomatic control. Lincoln quietly put him in his place, and the two eventually formed a mutual admiration society. But Obama isn't Lincoln, and Rahm most certainly isn't Seward. Whether Rahm can let go of idee fixe about Dems ruling from a center defined as "the place Republicans live" remains to be seen.

At 6:34 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Obama will give the establishment everything they want. Look what he did in the lead up to the election! He pushed the Congressional Black Caucus to vote for the heinous and unpopular bailout- blatant robbery of the treasury by Wall Street pirates. Ninety to ninety five percent of the public was against it but somehow Obama didn't see such activism as a liability in a close race. He actively campaigned for Lieberman when Lieberman faced a challenge from Ned Lamont, a true antiwar candidate. The list goes on and expect it to get longer.

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOT a good sign. Like when Wesley Clark got thrown under the bus for telling the truth.

I hope he gets resurrected, VERY int'd in the cab and UNDER-secretary picks

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merde', now hufpo's reporting it...

Is this worse than when John Edwards wayward Little John Edwards got exposed?

(it's a leap in a disappointing awaaay).


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