Thursday, November 06, 2008


seems like a pretty stupid choice. First decision as President-elect. Looking forward to the next big screw-up.

The White House chief of staff is not a chief strategist or a chief advocate. He is a manager of people and of process. Above all else, he sets the tone internally, and shapes the president’s decision process and the feel of the upper tiers of the administration. Obama is especially in need of someone who will lead him to decisions, because he appears to be intensely averse to making difficult choices—which is the essence of what the president does. His inclination is to step back and conceptualize the choice out of existence, looking reasonable but doing nothing. To overcome this, he will need a chief of staff with a sense of the gravity of the choices the president faces, and one capable of moving the staff to decision, keeping big egos satisfied and calm, and resisting the pressure to be purely reactive to momentary distractions. None of this spells Rahm Emanuel. There is definitely a place for a Rahm Emanuel type of brilliant ruthless shark in a White House staff, but not in the Chief’s office. Not a good first sign.


Stephanie said...

Love the pick of Emanuel.

Michael said...

Yep, genius move: Democratic strategist Paul Begala, who describes Emanuel's aggressive style as a "cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache."

Scooter said...

One plus: I understand he's a big Israel supporter.

Stephanie said...

He's perfect for this job. Calm down. Read the WaPo article.

"But his accomplishment came at the cost of bitter feuds with party Chairman Howard Dean, Congressional Black Caucus members and several candidates he pushed off the ballot in favor of his favorite centrists.

"There was a lot of frustration on the ground, trying to figure why the national Democratic Party was trying to squash a strong local movement like this," Kevin Spidel said in 2006 when he was campaign manager for Christine Cegelis, a liberal candidate he said was starved of funds by Emanuel in favor of Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran.

Many of the candidates Emanuel recruited are now members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog caucus, a group of Democrats Obama will badly need for any of his pricier initiatives.

"These are folks that know that Rahm looked out for them both in the campaign and in their first term in Congress," said Amy Walter of the Hotline political report."

On Israel: Rahm's dad was an Israeli terrorist in his youth.