Et tu, Rahmbo?
Who’s to blame for White House fiasco?
The fault for the Keystone Cops incompetence at the White House belongs to President Barack Obama and some of his closest aides.
Says who? Says one of his closest aides, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.
Oh, he’s not saying so directly. But a couple of widely publicized news stories quoting sources friendly to Emanuel and published in the Washington Post quote anonymous sources as saying that if Obama had just listened to Emanuel instead of his star-struck political aides things at the White House would be swell.
So what’s up. Is Emanuel on his way out of the White House and trying to blame others for that which some hold him responsible?
Whatever is happening, these stories reflect a stunning display of disloyalty by Emanuel to his boss.
But Emanuel didn’t win his reputation as a political knife-fighter for nothing. This is a guy who once sent a dead fish to an opponent to make sure his enemy got the message. He’s been known to dramatize his unhappiness with certain people by stabbing a knife into a table while commenting that so-and-so was dead for crossing him.
He aspired to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives but gave up a seat in Congress to become Obama’s chief of staff. That was in the days of hope and change, when the Messiah was at the height of his oratorical powers and all was well. The Obama policy platform was supposed to pass Congress with the snap of a finger.
But it hasn’t worked out that way. The cap-and-trade fiasco following by the slog over health care has not only damaged Obama’s standing with the public but laid the groundwork for a disastrous fall election for the Democrats.
Success has a 1,000 fathers, but failure is an orphan. So Emanuel is sending out word that “it’s not my fault” while explaining exactly whose fault it is. That would be everyone but him.
Emanuel is a longtime Chicago pol, a veteran political sleaze who got elected the U.S. House of Representatives on the strength of Chicago city employees who took time off from work to campaign for him. That’s all documented in the corruption trial of one of Daley’s henchmen, a fellow named Donald Tomczak.
Known as “Rahmbo” for his famous temper and aggressive tactics, Emanuel once worked in the Clinton administration and then left to get rich as an investment banker on the strength of his political connections. Then he got back into politics, winning but apparently not deserving Obama’s trust.
Read the stories. It’s a mix of political and journalistic intrigue.
Washington Post columnist David Broder was so unsettled by the fawning reporting about Emanuel that he took after two different Post writers in a recent column.