Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In Which I Crave The Reader's Indulgence...

Here I am again. But this time I'm craving indulgence by the clamouring multitudes who read this blog, entranced doubtless by the matchless prose displayed herein. But I digress.

Where was I? Oh, right. Indulgence.

I'm craving it because I'm about to shitcan the traditional honeymoon period that new presidents get and tell you exactly what I think about the rumors that Rahm Emanuel is going to be President Obama's chief of staff.

I think Rahm is a terrible choice, and one that could call into question Obama's willingness to 'reach across the aisle.'

Even Democrats aren't bubbling over with praise. Paul Begala (Democrat strategist) says his approach is like a "cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache." Begala goes on to say that he loves Rahm, but that "he's not a beloved figure like Tip O'Neill or Dick Gephardt. Rahm's there because they want to win."

  • Back on 2006, Rahm stormed out of a strategy meeting with Howard Dean apparently shouting swear words when Dean opposed his fund raising plans.
  • Clinton people are still talking about the time when he banged on the table during a meeting to get Lloyd Bentsen's attention.
  • Clinton himself admits that the bluntest thing Rahm ever said to him is "unprintable."

If this is how Rahm treats his friends, how does he get along with his political opponents?

Here's a clue: Back in 1988 he wrote an article for Campaigns & Elections magazine titled: “How to Beat a Republican.” He advised Democrat candidates to succinctly spelled out your own program and then "start dredging up dirt on your opponent.” Additionally, Rahm noted: "The untainted Republican has not yet been invented.”

Yeah, this guy will definitely reach across the aisle. He's guaranteed to celebrate a diversity of opinions in the Obama White House.

UPDATED to add: I found this quote in a Chicago Tribune profile of Rahm: When Obama won, this was Emanuel's reaction. He's referencing the 72-hour program that the GOP uses -- swaying undecided voters in the last 72 hours before the election.

"I'll tell you this," Emanuel shouted out to his staff. "The Republicans may have the 72-hour program. But they have not seen the 22-month program!

"Since my kids are gone, I can say it: They can go ---- themselves!"


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