Monday, June 21, 2010

It Won't Be A National Holiday, But I'll Be Treating Everyone I Know To A Fruit Shake On The Day Rahm Emanuel Steps Down


Few people have been more ready to blame Rahm Emanuel for every Obama administration misstep and bungle than Ken and I. That's because we know him longer and better than almost anyone else. There are 138 posts at DWT labeled "Rahm Emanuel"-- and that doesn't include dozens more with his name in the title! Is he the worst perp in American politics? Maybe not, but he's right up there with the worst on him, virtually the Democratic Party answer to Tom DeLay, more lately Obama's Rasputin.

Few tears will be spilled-- at least in Washington; it may be a different matter on Wall Street-- if the report in yesterday's Telegraph that he's leaving the White House in the next 6-8 months, turns out to be true. A credit hog a hypemeister, Emanuel was Obama's first-- and probably biggest mistake. It's unthinkable that someone with as outsized an ego as Emanuel would have been even vaguely suited to the job of Chief of Staff. It has always been all about this prima ballerina... long before he ever met Obama and nothing changed since he did.

Emanuel has always been about a few very narrow things-- positioning himself at the front of any parade, grabbing credit, acting tough, creating and burnishing an image with the help of credulous media hacks. One of this blog's proudest achievements was to debunk Emanuel's claims-- one still repeated by media bottom-feeders-- that he had lost a finger fighting off a Syria tank in the Golan Heights. He was in Israel at summer camp making lanyards and potholders and embroidering yarmulkes and he actually lost his finger after he didn't take care of it after a routine pastrami cutting incident at an Arby's in Chicago. His malevolent influence inside the Democratic party-- think NAFTA and think about a sharp Democratic turn away from progressive values and towards an embrace of the kind of overt corporatism that has traditionally been Republican territory-- and the selling of his soul to Wall Street (price tag: a cool $16.2 million in a make-work position from Wasserstein Perella/Dresdner Kleinwort for some easy-peezy influence peddling for a short stink before a trip back to DC as Wall Street's mole within the Democratic House caucus) is something you can easily find by reading the 138 tagged posts. I recommend them highly; I wrote a good many of them.

So why's he leaving? It really isn't a job many people hold onto for long. But he's already looking for media shills to place the blame for his complete failure on Obama. Supposedly, Obama and his "inner circle" are a bunch of idealistic hippies.
"I would bet he will go after the midterms," said a leading Democratic consultant in Washington. "Nobody thinks it's working but they can't get rid of him-- that would look awful. He needs the right sort of job to go to but the consensus is he'll go."

An official from the Bill Clinton era said that "no one will be surprised" if Mr Emanuel left after the midterm elections in November, when the Democratic party will battle to save its majorities in the house of representatives and the senate.

It is well known in Washington that arguments have developed between pragmatic Mr Emanuel, a veteran in Congress where he was known for driving through compromises, and the idealistic inner circle who followed Mr Obama to the White House.

His abrasive style has rubbed some people the wrong way, while there has been frustration among Mr Obama's closest advisers that he failed to deliver a smooth ride for the president's legislative that his background promised.

"It might not be his fault, but the perception is there," said the consultant, who asked not to be named. "Every vote has been tough, from health care to energy to financial reform.

"Democrats have not stood behind the president in the way Republicans did for George W Bush, and that was meant to be Rahm's job."

There were sharp differences over health care reform, with Mr Emanuel arguing that public hostility about cost should have forced them into producing a scaled down package. Mr Obama and advisers including David Axelrod, the chief strategist, and Valerie Jarrett, a businesswoman and mentor from Chicago, decided to push through with grander legislation anyway.

Supposedly the man whose ambition was once to be the first Jewish Speaker of the House-- and was on a Wall Street-greased fast track to accomplish that goal-- plans to run for mayor of Chicago. Why not? It's a city where unabashed, ruthless corruption is taken for granted. He's fit right in. And, apparently, he might not be as welcome in Israel as most Americans think:

UPDATE: Oh, no! False! False! False!

The White House is claiming that the Telegraph story isn't true-- but that doesn't make it false. Is Rahm leaving? Most DC observers think so. When? That's up to Obama. Meanwhile when the crazy lady from Alaska's meth capital started screaming "You lie!" at her TV about Rahm actually telling the truth about something for a change-- that Joe Barton's apologetic outburst wasn't a gaffe but clearly stated Republican Party policy-- some Insider types reminded everyone that as much of a crackpot she may seem to most Americans, she is, like it or not, the face and the voice of the Republican Party. Martin Frost: "For better or worse, Sarah Palin is the voice of the GOP right now. The Republicans had better get used to it. We Democrats think that is a good thing."



At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Wonderful news, saw it on Crooks&Liars and came HERE immediately for confirmation.
So now it's true! YEAH, amen.

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At 5:52 AM, Blogger libhom said...

I'm sure House and Senate Dems up for reelection want Rahm out immediately.


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