Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Poor Start, Alas....

The right is right (see good quotes in this USA Today piece): Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel for his chief of staff is troublesome. I said in a previous entry that the hyperpartisan atmosphere in Washington was perfected by Bush/Cheney/Rove, but really started with Clinton. And Emanuel was well known as the guy most forcefully pushing Clinton in that direction.

If, as Obama says, he was offered the job strictly because of his ability to get things done, and if, as Emanuel says, he's turned over a new leaf, that all needed to have been made much more explicit right up front. The way this was handled - in addition to leading with all Clinton-era appointments - 
was all kinds of bad. And the application of band-aids later (e.g. a token centrist appointment, some back-stepping re: Emanuel's partisan past, etc) will be scant consolation to those hoping for a centrist, conciliatory break from the past.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Interesting take. I think Emanuel to too centrist a choice for my taste. He's more about what's politically possible than in changing what's considered possible.

We've kind of gone there before, but I do not expect the GOP to even consider playing nice with Obama. It's not who they are. The president will need a COS who's a scrappy fighter with experience dealing with Congress, and Emanuel fits that bill. If it turns out that he has turned over a new leaf I will be severely disappointed. But if John Boehner is having fits over this appointment, I'm in favor of it.

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