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Rahm’s East Room Farewell

Today’s Rahm Farewell in the East Room contained surprising moments of poignancy, with the hard driving, bullying chief of staff nearly descending into weepiness when mentioning his dad and then his family.

Obama himself appeared to be holding tenuously onto his cool demeanor as Rahm gave him the ultimate Rahm praise, calling him a tough guy who faced down an economic depression and manhandled other challenges.

Obama gave back, saying it would all not have been possible without Rahm and that Rahm was the greatest thing since sliced bread and possibly even disposable diapers.

Rahm was not above launching his mayoral campaign in the East Room, mentioning that Chicago was the greatest city in the greatest country in the world, and exclaiming his excitement at the Chicago Bears’ 3-0 record.

Practically every senior member of the administration and the White House staff showed up for the event. Journalists speculated on how many of them Rahm has made cry.

Here are some pictures I took for you.

David Axelrod in the East Room

Axelrod shows up for the event and reveals to reporters that he has lost 25 pounds.

Geithner and Gibbs talk in the East Room

Treasury Secretary Geithner yucks it up with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who is just barely seen at the left.

Rahm Emanuel at his East Room farewell

Now we’re underway. Rahm waits his turn as the president lauds his accomplishments.

Obama and Pete Rouse in the East Room

Obama speaks as incoming interim Chief of Staff Pete Rouse looks on. Rouse, true to his taciturn form, said nothing at the event.

Obama emotional during Rahm's remarks in the East Room

Obama seems to be suppressing emotion – don’t worry, he’s good at it – as Rahm hails his chief.

Obama and Rahm Emanuel embrace in the East Room

Awwww . . .

Today is Rahm’s last day at work. He loses his security clearance at close of business. Don’t expect a decision on a permanent chief of staff for several months, said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

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9 Responses to Rahm’s East Room Farewell

  1. I was ripping through the blog enjoying your humor – “the most formidable political figure of the last half of the first decade of the 21st century.”
    (chuckle)
    Then my hair began to stand on end…
    And the last line made me go jump back in bed.

  2. He’s not better than tampons. Nothing is better than tampons and The One knows enough to stick to sliced bread and disposable diapers.

    So, Keith, what does this really mean? Who will replace The Rahm? What kind of person are they looking for? Could it be ValJar? Or some useful idiot outsider?

  3. Keith — I have kept an article from the March 2009 issue of Vanity Fair. It has photo portraits of all the President’s “teams” and the cabinet. I’ve been crossing out their faces as they depart. I’m afraid I may have missed a few — there are the Economy, Green, First Lady’s, Domestic-Policy, News-Tracking, Campaign Advance, Logistics, Communications teams and the “Brain Trust.” Would now be a good time, perhaps for you to give a review of who’s gone and who’s still here?

    The “Boosters” team of Ted and Caroline Kennedy both are gone. Three out of four Economy team are gone. A little less than half the First Lady’s team are gone.

  4. If I remember right (it seems like years now) the Marxist, pro-PLO, anti-Semitic Van Jones was the first one to get the boot from POTUS. I would like to see a list that shows when they came, when they went and what they are doing now (lobbying of course).