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...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, November 07, 2008

Rahmbo And Bobama

I wonder why no one has called out President-elect Obama for failing to have one single prominent black advisor in his staff?

I was almost sure he might give Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. a staff-level appointment, and that might yet come, but though I had heard that Rahm Emanuel was being considered for Chief of Staff (it had been floated out there for a fortnight) I was shocked.

Rahm Emanuel is a horrible person. He's petty and ruthless, and has been that way since I first saw him in Clinton's staff. Just about the only positive I can think of him, is that he is unapologetically pro-Israel. He is the kind of man that if he were Republican, he would be loathed and tried to be destroyed, like Karl Rove was.

To get a better sense of the man, read this 2005 Rolling Stone article, long before he was up for staff consideration.

Friends and enemies agree that the key to Emanuel's success is his legendary intensity. There's the story about the time he sent a rotting fish to a pollster who had angered him. There's the story about how his right middle finger was blown off by a Syrian tank when he was in the Israeli army. And there's the story of how, the night after Clinton was elected, Emanuel was so angry at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting "Dead! . . . Dead! . . . Dead!" and plunging the knife into the table after every name. "When he was done, the table looked like a lunar landscape," one campaign veteran recalls. "It was like something out of The Godfather. But that's Rahm for you."

Forget O'bambi.

Since the very beginnning, Obama has come to a knife fight with a cannon. Those who took him to be gentle, and lacking pettiness have completely misread his entire career and personality.

This is the man who backstabbed his political mentor, Alice Palmer, by outwitting her with legal cleverness.

In many senses, the flower-power generation of 1968, who had their beloved Bobby Kennedy taken away from them, but who thought of him as an inspirational, poem-quoting Shining Knight and not what others who knew him better realised (that he was a hard-nosed, backroom Irish pol unafraid to get his hands dirty), have finally gotten their hero in Barack Obama, just in time for their trusses and Viagra.

He's Bobama, the longed-for successor not of John F. Kennedy, but of Robert F. Kennedy.

Actually, he's even more clever than that. To continue being the gentle hero, he has had to search around for a ruthless type who will not think one minute in pummelling his opponents for him.

He found that man in Rahm Emanuel.



  • Obama: ruthlessness when dealing with political enemies, but willingness to deal with the likes of Ahmadinejad... what a guy.

    Oh, that the "cannon to a knife fight" strategy applied to his foreign policy.

    By Blogger knox, at Fri Nov 07, 04:23:00 pm GMT-5  

  • One of my great, great, great grandads was named Emanuel because was born on December 25. His wife bore 22 children, though several died. They homesteaded in Wisconsin and started a town.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Fri Nov 07, 07:49:00 pm GMT-5  

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