Sunday, November 9, 2008

Obama Chooses an Attack Dog

Rahm Emanuel: A profile of Barack Obama's enforcer

Rahm Emanuel, who has been chosen by Barack Obama to be the White House chief of staff, is known by colleagues as "Rahmbo" - a nickname reflecting his reputation as one of the most ferociously combative figures in Washington.

By Jon Swaine
Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama: Victorious president-elect picks White House team
Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama: the new chief of staff is a former Clinton adviser Photo:

Mr Emanuel, who received training in ballet as a boy, has shown no lightness of step in his political career: would-be enemies are advised to heed the story of a pollster who wronged him and promptly received a large, decomposing fish in the post.

Reflecting on his own foul-mouthed, attack-dog style, Mr Emanuel has said: "I wake up some mornings hating me too." Commentators have suggested that Mr Obama, who ran a lofty campaign based on national unity and bipartisanship, has recognised the need to employ a tough enforcer to push through his policy programme.

Mr Emanuel became Mr Clinton's chief fundraiser, a role in which he gained a fearsome name for extracting exactly what he wanted from wealthy donors. He collected enough money for the campaign to ride out several potentially damaging scandals. The president later said of his money man: "I doubt we could have done it without him."

The intense, eventually successful campaign took a serious toll on him. Colleagues reported that amid a discussion over a celebratory dinner about which political figures had earned the new president's enmity, Mr Emanuel became so enraged that he grabbed a steak knife, stood up and began reciting a list of names, plunging the knife into the table and shouting "Dead! Dead! Dead!" after each one.

None the less, Mr Emanuel remained closely involved with Mr Clinton, and was made a senior White House advisor when the new administration began work in 1993. It was reported that when Tony Blair was preparing to appear in public alongside the president amid the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998, he told the prime minister: "This is important. Don't ---- it up."

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1 comment:

Grace Explosion said...

Plunging a knife into the table and screaming, "Dead!" after each one??

Soooooo... that wasn't a story of one of the SS leaders of Hitler, huh??

That's "current events" in the Obama administration. Wow.

I guess my concerns about the Obama administration aren't being... alleviated... with that story.