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Tag Archives: Rahm

Obama Makes Campaign Stop for Rahm at Taxpayer Expense

President Obama today arrived in Chicago for a campaign stop for former Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, fully paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

And why not? Rahm has twisted arms and broken knee caps on behalf of two of our presidents. We owe him.

The stop was disguised as an event to declare the Pullman Historic District a national monument, making it Chicago’s first national park.

The Obama appearance with Emanuel, who is in a tight contest for reelection in a vote that is just a few days away, will help gin up black turnout in the heavily African American South Side, where the Pullman district is located. The monument is important to blacks because the Pullman railcar porters were the first to form a union of African American workers.

Rah gets a real hug to go with Obama's political embrace.
Rahm gets a real hug to go with Obama’s political embrace.

That the event with Obama comes just days before the election makes it an obvious boon to Emanuel’s campaign, one that could not possibly be coincidental. The White House itself provides the evidence that an appearance with Obama affects elections, given Obama’s refusal to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks before his reelection contest date, a refusal explained by Obama’s concern it could affect the Israeli election.

Emanuel worked with the administration to move Pullman to the top of the list of national monuments ready for designation. Now comes the payoff. And you’re providing the cash!

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz was gently questioned about the matter aboard Air Force One Thursday. Just a coincidence! Schultz said.

QUESTION: As you know, Eric, this is a site of particular significance to the African American community in Chicago, and Mayor Emanuel has really been counting on a lot of support from African American voters, particularly if he wants to avoid a runoff. Is the President hoping that his visit today will help encourage African American voters to turn out for the Mayor’s reelection?

SCHULTZ: Josh, you are right that this center has a long and iconic history, a very rich history . . . The President’s designation of this area is, again, one that’s been on our radar for a very long time. There’s been legislation to this effect. It’s something that, again, both Democrats and Republicans have supported on the ground in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The President’s support for the Mayor’s campaign is, again, something that — he believes he’s been a very strong mayor for the city.

Well, um, Election Day in Chicago has also been on the radar for a very long time. I’d say with this answer, White House credibility had declined even further, but I’m not sure that’s quite possible at this point.

Obama The Messiah Again? Hell Yeah!

Operator: White House

Caller: Get me Rouse.

Operator: Excuse me?

Caller: Get me Rouse.

Operator: You mean Pete Rouse, the senior adviser?

Caller: Get him.

Operator: Um, one moment please.

Rouse aide: Office of the senior adviser.

Caller: Get Rouse on the phone.

Rouse aide: Excuse me?

Caller: Get fucking Rouse on the phone.

Rouse aide: Excuse me?? Rahm, is that you?

Caller: Yes this is Rahm. Did you think it was Shirley Temple? Get me Rouse now.

Rouse aide: Yes, of course, right away.

Rouse: Hello? Rahm?

Rahm: You guys are totally screwing up the civility thing.

Rouse: I’m sorry?

Rahm: Civility. CIVILITY, DAMN IT!! WE NEED CIVILITY YOU MORON! You need to have Obama out there every day talking civility, damn it. We need to set up the contrast by making Obama nice again. Rush Limbaugh: A-hole; Sarah Palin: gun carrying nutjob; Obama: Wonderful guy – Messiah – get it?

Rouse: Rahm, we’re working the civility angle. We just had Michelle Obama put out her own call for everyone to –

Rahm: Nobody gives a shit about her. Let her stick to the little fatsos. What we need is more civility from the president. You are moving out of congressional campaign mode 2010 now and into 2012 presidential campaign mode. We need Messiah stuff. Unity. Cum-by-fucking-ya. You go it?

Rouse: Rahm, please don’t scream at me. You don’t even work here anymore.

Rahm: I do what I want. This is my legacy you’re working with over there. I’m an outside adviser. And I’m advising you to get with the civility program or I’m going to come over there, take my clothes off, and kick your ass up and down the State Dining Room. You got it?

Rouse (crying): Rahm, please don’t scream at me. Please don’t scream at me! We’re doing everything we can to re-brand the president back to nice. It’s not easy after all the stuff he said during the campaign about Republicans sipping Slurpees and Hispanics voting against their enemies, and so on. It’s going to take some time.

Rahm: Stop crying, you pathetic weakling. Yes, it will take time, which is why you need to start dialing it back to 2008 right now.

Rouse: Well, but we have to tweak some things. I mean, we can’t be about change when we’re the ones in power.

Rahm: Right, which is why I have a new slogan for you: “Hope and No Change.”

Rouse: “Hope and No Change?”

Rahm: Right. Didn’t you hear me the first time? Do you have bullshit stuck in your ears?

Rouse: It just sounds a little –

Rahm: Hope and No Change!!

Rouse: OK, OK.

Rahm: Here’s another. “Guns don’t kill people. Conservatives do.”

Rouse: Well, Obama just said that the rhetoric was not responsible for the killings.

Rahm: I know. I want you to tell Pelosi to say it.

Rouse: OK.

Rahm: And have Obama go to Capitol Hill to address the Republicans, and have him bring them all into the East Room to listen to their crap, and other similar types of bullshit events? Got it?

Rouse: Yes, good ideas, Rahm.

Rahm: Of course they’re good ideas. We’re going to make Obama nice again. We’re going back into inspiration mode, you got it?

Rouse: Yes, inspiration!

Rahm: I don’t want anyone at the White House saying conservatives are violent bastards. We can let Olbermann take care of that every night on TV, and Pelosi will do it from the Capitol.

Rouse: Right. And we’ve also given Begala and Carville their talking points about Rush and Palin.

Rahm: Good. But don’t have Obama go all Walt Disney on us. I mean, he can still crap on the fat cat bankers every once in a while, you know?

Rouse: Well, he can’t exactly do that.

Rahm: Well why not??

Rouse: Because Obama just put a banker in charge of the place. Daley was Midwest chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase.

Rahm: Oh yeah. Well, then it’s a full time love-in.

Rouse: Got it, Rahm Got it.

Midwest Chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase

Rahm Descends Into Retail Politics

Rahm started running for mayor of Chicago Monday, and the results were mixed. Seems he got heckled plenty as he began his “listening tour,” which will be followed if he gets into office by his “expletive tour” as he meets his new employees.

Just the site of Rahm suddenly kissing ass is quite shocking. One day, he’s at the podium in the East Room. The next, he’s at a subway stop in Chicago.

A lot of Hispanics seem unhappy that the White House made so little progress on immigration reform. And he got some complaints from a feisty African American blogger than not enough “stimulus” has made its way to black neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, with the tenants of his house still refusing to break the lease and move out, questions linger over whether Rahm has the right to run at all.

The Chicago Sun-Times has a rundown of his day as well as some photos of all the fun.

Come on, shake my hand. Eventually, she did.

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.

What Rahm Hath Wrought

Whether you like the first 18 months of the Obama presidency or not, you have one person to thank more than any other for its achievements, and it’s not the president, and it’s not Nancy Pelosi.

Rahm Emanuel, who will announce his resignation today as White House chief of staff, is quite simply the most formidable political figure of the last half of the first decade of the 21st century. Through sheer force of will, he has sculpted the landscape and made law to a degree unmatched by any other politician.

Yes, Obama is president and Nancy is Speaker. But without Rahm, Nancy wouldn’t be Speaker, and Obama wouldn’t be achieving much as president.

It was Rahm, remember, who as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee brought the Democrats control of the House in 2006. This of course effectively ended the Bush presidency while laying the basis for the passage of Obama’s agenda.

He did it through careful and intelligent cultivation of candidates and relentless fundraising.

Rahm gets up early every morning and starts Rahming around, Rahming people, and keeps Rahming away until late at night.

He struts the halls of the White House bristling with energy – you can kind of feel it as he passes. He strides into meetings and peppers aids with questions that show he’s aware of things they didn’t suspect.

For goodness sake, the Muslims even named their holy month for him.

The White House legislative affairs director is someone named Phil Schiliro, who by all accounts that I’ve heard is extremely able. But everyone on Capitol Hill knows Rahm is the legislative affairs chief. He was in charge of the strategy, did the most important cajoling – or you might say, bullying – and steered through Congress the stimulus, health reform, financial reform, and other lesser known Obama initiatives.

All while knocking heads together in the White House to make the place work.

And he’ll probably win his mayoral race. Because Rahm doesn’t take no for an answer, even from the people of Chicago.

And then, make no mistake, he will run for president.

Mayor Daley is Done; Rahm is Certain to Run

Was that Rahm I just saw at the Staples on 17th Street walking out with a bunch of cardboard boxes?

Maybe not. But with the announcement that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has decided not to seek a tenth term, or whatever it is, Rahm is SO leaving the White House, all that remains is for him to decide which door to walk out of.

If I’m wrong, I will leave Washington and spend the rest of my life as an anthropologist in the Sahara studying the migratory routes of Nomadic Bedouin tribes and examining their foot calluses. I promise.

How do I know he’s out?

1. Rahm is well known not to be thoroughly loving his job and is expected to leave by the end of the year anyway.

2. It is believed that the hyperkinetic, foul mouthed, occasionally-naked-sauna-room-schmoozing Rahm hasn’t really bonded terribly well with the fastidious Obama.

3. Rahm SAID HE WANTS TO BE MAYOR OF CHICAGO on the Charlie Rose show in April.

4. It’s Rahm’s only logical next move. The Senate is not the place for a natural born Bossy Man like Emanuel, and the next election he could conceivably contest is in six years. Illinois governor is a possibility, but he’d have to wait four years, and Rahm isn’t into waiting.

5. With Republicans likely to take the House or at least be in a position in Congress to block most legislation, the next two years of the Obama administration are unlikely to be very fruitful.

Expect an announcement within a few weeks, possibly right after Congress leaves to campaign. I doubt Rahm will wait until after Election Day in November, because the mayoral contest will be held Feb. 22. He needs time to raise money, line up endorsements, campaign, and so forth.

He would probably announce his intentions tomorrow except that he would seem overeager, and it would raise questions about just how unhappy he is at the White House.

Obama Gives Economic Team the Finger

Faced with sluggish job growth, the resumption home price declines, and the possibility of a double dip recession, President Barack Obama gave his economic team the finger at a White House meeting last Thursday, just before departing for a vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. “You guys suck,” Obama declared as his economic team gave him the… Continue Reading

Rahm: Report I’m Quitting is ‘BS’

Rahm today denied, in Rahm language, a report in the London Telegraph stating that he will quit the White House by the end of the year or so. Actually, the report is quite ludicrous. It sites unnamed Democratic sources postulating Rahm will leave by the end of the year. “I would bet he will go… Continue Reading