Chief of Staff

15 11 2008

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Meet your new Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. His appointment was announced a couple of days ago. Since then I have been looking up any information that I could on this man. I found quite a bit. Very little of that being positive news.

He went to Sarah Lawrence College for Undergraduate and got his masters in speech and communication from Northwestern University. He runs triathlons, which keeps him in good shape. Currently he is Democratic Caucus Chairman in the House of Representatives. This is a very important post but if you are not “in Washington” or really knowledgeable about politics you have never heard of. People do not get this job by accident.

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty. First his grandfather was a Zionist, he even fought in Jerusalem in the 1930’s. His dad belonged to Irgun, a militant Zionist group, which operated during the British Mandate of Palestine (the Ottoman Empire was broken up and Palestine fell under British influence). As a political staffer for the Clinton campaign he raised massive amounts of money. Figures vary but the amount was record breaking at the time (obviously surpassed now by Obama).

During Clinton he was Senior Adviser to the President for Policy and Strategy. His happiest moment was in 1993. He orchestrated the famous handshake between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and then Israli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. This publicity stunt was obviously symbolic and did not cause much change in the region. After the 1996 election (presidential) in a celebratory diner he named all of the president enemies and said “Dead!” after each name.

He resigned and went to work for Freddie Mac in 2000. He was appointed to the Board of Directors by then president Freddie Mac. During that time the board was plagued with many accusations including shady campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.

In 2001 he resigned because he wanted to run for the House of Representatives, where with money anyone can win. 2002 brought him victory. His voting record during this time shows that he is truly loyal to party politics, this is probably due to the hedge fund lobbyist, who are very good friends of his, that approach him. Emannuel’s importance in Washington is undeniable. He was even a contender for Nancy Peloci’s job. This is when she made a deal with him. He would not go for the job and she would make him Democratic Caucus Chairman, this was in 2006. He helped the Democrats take the House in 2006 with his obvious strength amassing huge amounts of money for campaigns. During his leadership he tried to cut the vice president’s budget by 4.8 million because Cheney said some negative things about how he was running his job.

Now for some rumors. It is said that he once had a business partner. The relationship went sour and they parted ways. Afterward Emanuel sent a dead fish to his residence.

I am not sure whether his amazing ability to wheel and deal will help him in his new job, but this is a man who is owed a lot of favors but probably owes many more.

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