Rahm Emanuel

(1959 - )

White House chief of staff with President Barak Obama


EMANUEL, Rahm, a Representative from
Illinois; born in Chicago, Cook County, Ill.,
on November 29, 1959; B. A., Sarah Law-
rence College, Bronxville, N. Y., 1981; M.
A., Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
1985; advisor, the White House Office,
1993-1999; bank executive; elected as a
Demodrat to the One Hundred Eighth Con-
gress and to the two succeeding Congres-
ses until his resignation on January 2,
2009 (January 3, 2003-January 2, 2009);
chair, House Democratic Caucus (One
Hundred Tenth Congress); elected to the
111th Congress, but declined his seat. 

(washingtonpost.com/November 6, 2008, by Chris Chilizza)"... Of  his decision, Emanuel said: "I'm leaving a job to join your White House for one simple reason - like the record amount of voters who cast their ballot over the last month, I want to do everything I can to help deliver the change America needs".
Emanuel was elected to Congress in 2002 to a strongly Democratic Chicago-area seat once held by legendary Ways und Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski. He rapidly rose through the ranks of the Democratic Causus - serving as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee in 2006 and then as the Caucus Chairman over last two years.

Foto: "Observer"

But, Emanuel's expierence prior to coming to Congress as an elected offical may be more instructive when seeking to understand what sort of chief of staff he will be. During the 1988 election cycle, Emanuel served as national field director at the DCCC under then Chairman Beryl Antony (Ark.) and then spent the better part of the 1990s affiliated in one way or another with the compaign and then precidency of Bill Clinton. Emanuel oversaw fundraising during the presidential campaign of Clinton and held several positions in the White House, first as political director, then manager of special legislaive efforts, and finally as senior adviser.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi with Rahm Emanuel

One former Clinton Administration official compared Emanuel to a defensive end in football. "Very smart, super quick and agile, but getting hit by him, particularly when you were blindsided, felt like being run over by a truck," said the source.
Over those fifteen yearss as a staffer, Emanuel earned a take-no-prisoners reputation and a nickname - "Rahmbo" - to go with it. At times he was blunt to a fault, and alienated some af his adminstration collegues.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) seized on Emanuel's partisan reputation to condemn the choice. "This is an ironic choice für a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center," said Boehner in a statement. But, Emanuel allies argue that the image of the Illinois Congressman wa a partisan brawler is more myth than reality. Emanuel regulary speaks with current White House chief of staff Josh Bolton and has even attended a baseball game with the Republican. He counts Sen Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), one of John McCain's closest allies, and retiring Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) as friends. And, Emanuel's allies point to SCHIP legislation and a G. I. Bill of Rights as examples of where he worked across aisle to secoure support.
Our sense on Emanuel is that he is the ultimate political pragmatist. He understands that Obama was elected in part (a major part) dues to his promise to change the way politics is conducted in Washington. Does that mean Emanuel's tough minded approach to the intersection of politics and policy change? Absolutely not. Bud it does mean that Emanuel will understand that reaching across the aisle for Republican support is absolutly essential to Obama's political brand and will look for opportunities to do so.


Ray LaHood

Lindsey Graham

John Boehner