March 2, 2010

The notion that Rahm Emanuel has been the voice of reason — and Obama should have listened to him.

Jason Horowitz writes in WaPo:
Emanuel ... could have helped the administration avoid its current bind if the president had heeded his advice on some of the most sensitive subjects of the year: health-care reform, jobs and trying alleged terrorists in civilian courts.

... [Emanuel] was not aggressive enough in trying to persuade a singularly self-assured president and a coterie of true-believer advisers that "change you can believe in" is best pursued through accomplishments you can pass.

By all accounts, Obama selected Emanuel for his experience in the Clinton White House, his long relationships with the media and Democratic donors, and his well-established -- and well-earned -- reputation as a political enforcer, all of which neatly counterbalanced Obama's detached, professorial manner....
... Obama went for the historically far-reaching, but more legislatively difficult, achievements that he and his campaign-forged inner circle believe they were sent to Washington to deliver.
Read the whole thing. There's some great detail about closing Guantanamo and trying KSM. I don't know who the sources are for Horowitz's article. It reads like PR for Emanuel. Eric Holder is portrayed as stuck on abstract principle, while David Axelrod is blinded by his "strong view" of Obama as a big "historic character."
[A]n early Obama supporter who is close to the president and spoke on the condition of anonymity... blamed Obama's charmed political life for creating a self-confidence and trust in principle that led to an "indifference to doing the small, marginal things a White House could do to mitigate the problems on the Hill. Rahm knows the geography better."
Hmm. Does Rahm talk about himself in the third person?  It rings true though! This does sound like what history will record as Obama's tragic flaw: overconfidence and attachment to abstract principles (borne of the great good luck of fitting the template others had so much hope for).

41 comments:

AllenS said...

I don't know who the sources are for Horowitz's article. It reads like PR for Emanuel.

You are correct. I started to read the article this morning, and quit after a couple of paragraphs.

NewHam said...

The entire article paints the administration as a bunch of bumbling fucking idiots.

Sure, Rahm might be right twice a day (broke clock syndrome), but if this is PR for anyone in the Obama Adminisration, then I think we have our explanation of why, with even 60 votes in the Senate, they can't pass their legislation.

They're Ivy-league morons.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They were talking about this on Scarborough's show this morning. Joe said it almost reads as if Rahm wrote it and is actually kind of surprised such leaks are coming out of an administration whose campaign ran leak free.

It sure makes Rahm look good and his boss look like a ding dong. I'd start looking both ways for buses if I was Rahm.

The Drill SGT said...

Front page, above the fold WaPo article on the collapse of the No Drama Obama Insiders.

A great read about infighting.

Rahm, the voice of reason :)

a companion piece to the Desiree Rogers - Valerie Jarrett cat fight story over the weekend.

Hoosier Daddy said...

To my point, I'm reminded of a great quote in Dune (the mini-series, not that gagger made in '84)

Baron Harkonnen to Duke Leto Atreides: Never get more popular than the boss. Unless you intend to sack him.

ricpic said...

Rahm: What, oh highness, is the principle you wish me to enforce?

B. Hussein: To crush the bitter clingers, Rahm. To crush them hard. Now go forth and wreak havoc on them and on their land, Amerika. I has spoken.

master cylinder said...

slop for the hogs!
Good Mornin!

Scott M said...

I've been reading about Rahm's dueling editorial story for a couple of days. It certainly looks like a soft spot in the administration's armor.

Regardless of what happens in the next couple of weeks, expect some personnel house cleaning after Nov 4th.

The Drill SGT said...

HD said..It sure makes Rahm look good and his boss look like a ding dong. I'd start looking both ways for buses if I was Rahm.

I agree with your assessment of the tone, but disagree on the reason.

I read it as a plant by Pro-Rahm partisans prepping the way for Rahm to exit, conserving his Insider MoJo, and shifting blame for all the screw ups to others. You can't be an Washington A-List Insider unless you keep your creds.

alternately, the story could be an Axelrod plant to piss off Barrack enough to can Rahm's aass :)

regardless, a pox on both their houses.

At one level, I'll be sorry to see Rahm go and he's going. Like Hillary, I dislike his politics, but I thought he was competent and could avoid some of the stupid things we have seen Obama do thus far. Rahm comes of course from the Daley wing of Chicago politics where corruption is mixed with competence, but failure is not tolerated.

AJ Lynch said...

Why is it a tragic flaw for Obama? Because his presidency will be a failure? I don't like Emanuel but he must be frustrated that Obama never takes advice.

His failure is a victory for the country's which will continue to lead all others as a dynamic land of opportunity.

Peter V. Bella said...

Rahm is nothing more than another cheap corrupt Chicago politician.

Fred4Pres said...

That "notion" was spread by some friends of Rahmbo. Rahm says he had nothing to do with these leaks, but they are leaks and they are embarassing the President. The fact is Rahmbo is the one who said never let a crisis go to waste--so this nonsense that he is some moderate is a bunch of BS. But it is also unfair to blame Rahm for the failures of the Obama Administration, that failure stops in the oval office and witht the Speaker of the House/Senate majority leader.

garage mahal said...

Emmanuel, feeling the heat, is leaking stories to the press.

Comrade X said...

attachment to abstract principles

like that automobile liability insurance should cover his own car for collision damage?

Fred4Pres said...

Could this be some infighting in the WH? Perhaps some of Rahm's enemies are leaking this to discredit him with Obama?

Anyone seen Axelrod?

AllenS said...

Maybe this is nothing more than Barack and Michelle not trusting white people.

MadisonMan said...

Why do people read unsourced stories?

michaele said...

Although Obama's most ardent supporters (a dwindling number) can rightfully argue that he ran on the theme of "fundamentally changing" this country, that's not really why most people voted for him. He garnered votes because the tone of his voice and his delivery did not resonate with people as radical.He would have gotten nowhere if he had a Ron Paul type voice. Now that he's actually trying to deliver on his campaign promises, it all seems like too much, too fast.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Emmanuel, feeling the heat, is leaking stories to the press.

Well somebody certainly is. If I was Obama, and I thank my personal god I am not, I wouldn't be reading that article and thinking 'well isn't that special'.

I read it as a plant by Pro-Rahm partisans prepping the way for Rahm to exit, conserving his Insider MoJo, and shifting blame for all the screw ups to others.

I think that's a fair assessment. Whether you're an Obama supporter or not, an objective view of his performance to date is abysmal for the simple fact that he is focused solely on a financially unsustainable health care bill while unemployments continues to rise. And whether you like it or not, unemployment and the economy is first and foremost in the minds of the country. Everything else is a very distant second.

Yeah, Rahm is probably prepping his parachute and I still contend that Hillary will be yelling Geronimo! before the end of the year.

Peter V. Bella said...

Emanuel has maneuvered where possible. He has dispatched Vice President Biden to appear at 25 fundraisers and rallies to assist the "frontline members" of the House, those most in danger of being bounced out of office.

Sending a clown, idiot, cretin, and a moron to do a human's job is not exactly rendering assistance to anyone. It is like throwing a lifesaver made of lead to a drowning man.

Big Mike said...

For a different take on Rahm Emanuel, check out what Washington Post columnist Colbert King had to say about him last Saturday.

rhhardin said...

Contradictory abstract principles. It's not a mere reality problem.

AJ Lynch said...

The brillian Team of Rivals will be making some roster changes.

Peter V. Bella said...

On a more serious note, maybe Rahm is setting himself up to leave the White House on good terms. He can get his old seat back and set himself up for the Speaker's position.

That is if Quigley, who holds the seat warm wants to give it up. Rahm's organized crime connection and the man who owned that seat, Jimmy DeLeo is retiring from politics. DeLeo is the Dem Committeeman for the Fifth Congressional Disctrict and a known associate of organized crime in Chicago.

He anointed Rahm and his predecessor, Rod the Celebrity Idiot Blagojevich.

Quaestor said...

It's preemptive finger pointing. Lord Zero is looking for someone to blame when one of two outcomes created by the President's stubborn adherence to Obamacare emerges:

1) The bill passes by reconciliation, leading to a massacre of Senate and House Democrats next November.

2) The bill is tabled, which will be Obama's Waterloo.

Either outcome will call for scapegoats. Rahm is just trying to insulate himself from the blowback.

The Drill SGT said...

Big Mike said...
For a different take on Rahm Emanuel, check out what Washington Post columnist Colbert King had to say about him last Saturday.


I confess to reading on Saturday King and posting my Insider comment without full disclosure.

I like King. He's a liberal, but a former Army Offcer, who is patriotic and honest.

NewHam said...

"It's preemptive finger pointing."

It's even worse than that. Here's how MSNBC headlines this story:

"Dems: Emanuel’s ‘gut instincts’ trump Obama’s"

I fail to see how making Barack Obama out to be the retard of the two advances Rahm's Emmnauel's interets.

Quaestor said...

MadisonMan wrote:
Why do people read unsourced stories?

If it weren't for "unsourced" stories WaPo would be buying ink by the pint.

wv: hydrosor -- a green dinosaur

Quaestor said...

NewHam wrote:
I fail to see how making Barack Obama out to be the retard of the two advances Rahm's Emmnauel's interets.

I never said it was effective preemptive finger-pointing.

etbass said...

The article said "The source blamed Obama's charmed political life for creating a self-confidence and trust in principle that led to an "indifference to doing the small, marginal things a White House could do to mitigate the problems on the Hill."

What about the adulation of the media boosting Obama's self confidence?

pm317 said...

oh my! First Dana Milbank and now this other guy.

Zach said...

The odd part is that the leaker is passing the blame to the President. Normally, you'd expect the leaker to blame a rival advisor, since advisors can be fired and presidents can't. The only way it makes sense is if there's an outside party -- congressional Democrats, say -- who want Obama to be restrained, and Emanuel is auditioning for the role.

If the health care bill fails, somebody's going to have to go, and it can't be Obama. But who do you fire when the boss is the problem?

Gordon Freece said...

"Holder"? "Principle"?

I laughed so hard at that, it was physically painful.

pm317 said...

Zach said...

The odd part is that the leaker is passing the blame to the President. Normally, you'd expect the leaker to blame a rival advisor, since advisors can be fired and presidents can't.

---------------------
Nothing odd about this if Rahm himself is the source. Many think he is.

traditionalguy said...

The voice of reason has not showed up inside the White House in over a year. This is only a low level propaganda attempt to rescue Rahm's reputation as the Obama Bus Cometh to carry him away. Barry has got to fire someone as a scapegoat for failing Soros in the speed of his finishing his mission to nationalise the USA.

edutcher said...

"Emanuel ... could have helped the administration avoid its current bind if" he had grown up and stopped channeling Bobby DeNiro in "The Untouchables".

Barry picked Tippytoes to be his Enforcer, somewhere between Frank Nitti (as essayed by Bruce Gordon) and Heinrich Himmler (the plausible deniability thing), who would Alinskyize all who opposed The Zero. He forgot to check if RahmBO was a blithering incompetent who just talked tough.

Cedarford said...

"Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter."

Rahm Emmanuel, and you may dislike his personality and Chicago-way politics - is the only one in Obama's inner circle with a good track record for getting things done.

He was part of a group that bailed Bubba out after the 1994 Debacle. He was superbly competent in that role then in planning Congressional strategy after Bush II got elected.
As bad as Bush II and Obama are, they are no Jimmy Carter. That Rahm has so far been able to keep Obama and the nation from replicating the Jimmy Carter experience - these articles the WP is running point to Rahm possibly seeing the writing on the wall and seeking to leave.

Wishing no association with Obama's current failures - as Rahm is a guy with a deserved 20-year reputation for "getting things done" - and with the Obama disasters that are coming and the 2012 elections..

Obama as Jimmy Carter II? No joy in me as an American with that prospect - as a teen, the Jimmy Carter years were awful for my family and depressing as an American. Then Reagan lead most of our family members away from the Democrat ranks..

veni vidi vici said...

I read that blogpost headline as "the voice of treason" and did a double-take.



wv: "boneste" -- Parsley patch, rosebush, kitten's ear...

Joe said...

Rahm is nothing more than another cheap corrupt Chicago politician.

Nah, Rahm is another pretty good, corrupt Chicago politician, though not even close to being in Dan Rostenkowski territory.

The real irony is that like everyone else the Obama administration, he got seduced by believing the president has more power than he has. If he'd stayed in the house, Rahm would be a lot more powerful than he is now. The folly of politicians. (I'd even go so far as to speculate that Rahm could have taken over the house leadership from Pelosi. Thank God he didn't.)

Youngblood said...

It's obvious that the administration is floating a trial balloon here.

The Dems know that they're going to get their asses handed to them in November, and it's because of the way that everything Obama touches turns to shit. They have to change tack or the Dems will be saddled with the reputation that they can't get things done.

So they're putting this story out there now and letting it get some traction. If it goes over well with the public, if they approve of Emanuel's pragmatic hardball style over Obama's more detached style, then expect the administration to gradually change course. If that happens, we will see a more moderate Obama who will focus on solid small projects which will build up his reputation.

In short, they're getting ready to throw the Far Left base under the bus in favor of the good ol' Clintonian approach.

David said...

Never believe a thing these people say. Their entire mode of communication is to lie.

Believe it even less when it's been filtered through a mainstream newspaper.