Political Partisan Accepts White House Chief of Staff Position


President-elect Obama, announced on Thursday that his choice for White House Chief of Staff is Rep. Rahm Emanuel D-IL, a fellow member of the Chicago political machine with ties to Mayor Richard Daley. The CoS post is considered, by most, to be the job of “White House Enforcer,” and considering Emanuel's reputation, he might be a perfect fit.

Emanuel served under the Clinton administration as a senior advisor and political strategist. After a period of working in the banking community, Emanuel won a House seat in 2002. Since then, he has climbed to the number four-in-power within the Democratic caucus. He is also credited with being one of the chief designers of the Democratic sweep of Congress in 2006-through tireless fund-raising efforts and the selection of viable candidates.

Throughout his career, Emanuel has earned a reputation as a hard-hitting, highly aggressive, partisan insider, who is prone to the love of publicity. He is reported, at one time, to have mailed a dead fish to a political opponent. Emanuel’s specialties while serving in the Clinton White House, were outlining domestic policies such as health care, welfare, and trade and his hard nosed style earned him the nick,”Rahmbo.”

His appointment and acceptance was met with fierce opposition by Republican opponents who are fearing this is an indicator of the Obama administration's lack of willingness to work outside party lines. In a quote from the AP, House Minority Leader, John Boehner R-OH, called his selection an "ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil and govern from the center." The RNC (Republican National Committee) issued a statement, obtained from the Politico, calling Emanuel "a partisan insider" and referring to him by his nickname of "Rahmbo": "Barack Obama's first decision as president-elect undermines his promise to 'heal the divides."

Not all Republicans met Emanuel’s appointment with the same chagrin as their colleagues, "Rahm knows Capitol Hill and has great political skills," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "He can be a tough partisan but also understands the need to work together."

The President-elect’s motivations for this possibly divisive choice are hard to determine. While Emanuel brings a hard line partisan template to this administration, he also fills in some of the gaps in Obama’s résumé. His knowledge of the Congressional landscape and necessities of the White House are great assets for the upcoming administration. How Rep. Emanuel will handle policy implementation and structuring the White House is another story though. One, which all Republicans and the like can do, is sit back and watch unfold.

AP Photo



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