Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Here are Rahm Emanuel's top priorities as White House chief of staff

Democrat president-elect Barack Obama confers with his new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel

Here are the very first few things Rahm Emanuel, president-elect Barack Obama's White House chief of staff-designate, is going to do. And they're gonna disappoint the DailyKos crowd:

First, be fast out of the gate.

Be well-organized.

Be moderate.

Run to the middle politically. You're going to need those centrist folks for a second term. And it's never too soon to act on that.

Above all, remember: First impressions are crucial. They take forever to correct. Within 90 days Americans in this day and age will be forming some pretty firm convictions about the Obama Administration.

How do we know all this? First, because Emanuel was part of the crummy opening to the first Bill Clinton administration.

It took forever for him to get beyond those mistakes: the bungled appointments, the Hillary health care imbroglio, the flap over homosexuals in the military that all caused many to think (fear) this Arkansas guy was a lot more liberal (and maybe inept) than the centrist that Clinton played in the 1992 campaign against George H.W. Bush.

And the price Clinton paid for all those initial goofs and gaffes was loss of both houses of Congress in the Republican Revolution of 1994.

And we know all this because Emanuel ever so kindly offered all of this specific advice to a newly-elected George W. Bush in an op-ed piece in The Times way back on March 29, 2001, five months before 9/11 seemed to change everything, including erasing for a while some negative first impressions of the new Bush.

Thanks to our co-blogger Larry Harnisch over at the Daily Mirror for uncovering this advisory artifact. You can find Larry's complete report -- and Emanuel's complete column -- over there.

--Andrew Malcolm

And if you go here first and register for free, you can have automatic alerts sent straight to your cellphone when each new Ticket item goes up.

Photo credit: Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

ok

 
Comments () | Archives (11)

The comments to this entry are closed.

90 days from inauguration, all US troops out of Iraq. Did we forget about that one? Obama promised all troops out of Iraq within 90 days of coming into office. I count that as on or about April 20, 2009. Time to get busy. The BS portion of this campaign is now over. All troops out of Iraq in 90 days and if he wants to put a cherry on it, explain to the American people what we were doing there in the first place and why over 4000 Americans are dead.

This type of Israel lobby access to American presidents has been the norm since the time of Harry S. Truman. During his administration, the lobby broke US arms embargos and smuggled stolen surplus WWII military gear to the nascent IDF. During Kennedy's, the lobby financed Israel's covert nuclear weapons program in defiance of the NPT. With Johnson it laundered tax exempt funds supposedly destined for "Jewish Relief" into US propaganda and lobbying thus destroying the Foreign Agents Registration Act. With Clinton it secured appointments for people like Dennis Ross who derailed peace concessions.

The millions of Americans who bankrolled Obama's win with $100 average contributions for "change" have been immediately betrayed by this entry of Irgun policymaking into the White House. This is not change we can believe in.

It is encouraging to see links to source material in more and more op eds and news releases. This morning's ABC comment on Rahm Emanuel contained links to an SEC release on settlements with Fannie Mae exec's and a link to an Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) statement regarding the dereliction of duty by the Fannie Mae board.
It will help the country if the public becomes well informed, and uses that information to keep Congress - and the media - on the path of truth.

Here, we see the LA Times reinforcing the persistant myth that W. performed his presidential duties admirably in the aftermath of 9/11. But the truth is, his actions and behavior were deplorable and further endangered our national security.. He froze when informed the nation was under attack. Then, he and Cheney disappeared and were not heard from for at least 24 hours.

Then, he appeared before reporters in a very confused and chaotic-appearing meeting with his cabinet, delivering very, very shaky insubstantial statements, shrugging his shoulders, appearing worried and annoyed and rattled -- as if to say, "What do you expect ME to do about it?"

Finally, he delivered a scripted statement -- more than a day after the bombing. At long last, he appeared at the site of the bombing -- posing for the cameras, appearing to be in command .

That final photo shoot is the source of the myth -- and it is bogus.

Note to MSM reporters and editors: You cannot erase MY memory of what really happened in the aftermath that easily -- no matter how many times you repeat it. Bush is personally responsible for allowing 9/11 to happen -- and for enadangering us afterward. He belongs in jail for life.

Here, we see the LA Times reinforcing the persistant myth that W. performed his presidential duties admirably in the aftermath of 9/11. But the truth is, his actions and behavior were deplorable and further endangered our national security.. He froze when informed the nation was under attack. Then, he and Cheney disappeared and were not heard from for at least 24 hours.

Then, he appeared before reporters in a very confused and chaotic-appearing meeting with his cabinet, delivering very, very shaky insubstantial statements, shrugging his shoulders, appearing worried and annoyed and rattled -- as if to say, "What do you expect ME to do about it?"

Finally, he delivered a scripted statement -- more than a day after the bombing. At long last, he appeared at the site of the bombing -- posing for the cameras, appearing to be in command .

That final photo shoot is the source of the myth -- and it is bogus.

Note to MSM reporters and editors: You cannot erase MY memory of what really happened in the aftermath that easily -- no matter how many times you repeat it. Bush is personally responsible for allowing 9/11 to happen -- and for enadangering us afterward. He belongs in jail for life.

You left out a very relevant point that Rham made in his article. The point he made about moving to the middle is only in the context of someone who did not win a majority. He points out that Clinton only won a plurality and that Bush lost the popular vote, so they needed to appeal to the middle.

Obama won with a majority and a clear progressive mandate to move the country far more to the left than Clinton could have. The reason for that is because we already moved so far to the right after 9-11, that the pendulum needs to swing quite far to the left just to reach equilibrium again.

I'll tell you what his top priority will be, the same reason he was picked, to cover up the responsibility the Democrats own in our current economic meltdown!

You watch, Pelosi and her clowns will ensure no third party investigation ever sees the light of day about this failed Democrat policy that resulted in the collapse of our housing market!

Hope you simpletons enjoy your CHANGE! Obama's first move was to put the fox in charge of the hen house!

Rahm certainly did a good job as a director of Freddie Mac. I guess it's possible he could halp fix the problems he helped create.

Obama is really shaking things up getting the same old cronies into power.

Change you should have counted on.

I have had my doubts about Obama, but now I feel better knowing that Rahm Emanuel will be Chief of Staff

This is a great article. I remember that time in history. There were some really fascinating sub plots going on at that time. Newt Gingrich was a bit drunk on his power via the contract with America.

Bill Clinton was reeling over the issues you brought up in this article.

I believe there two budget stalemates in Congress in back to back years. Between the first one and the second one, Newt was invited on a trip to the Middle East with Bill Clinton.

When the trip was over, Newt had to leave Air Force One via the back exit! Apparently this is considered a presidential snub because you get off the plane without seeing the president, whereas if you leave through the front of the plane, you get to say your goodbyes and thanks and what not.

Newt was so offended at having to leave through the back door that the second budget impasse lasted a LOT longer than the first one.

But this was when Bill Clinton found his backbone and stood up to the Republicans.in Congress and didn't back done.

An Interesting time in history, especially seeing how behind the scene snubs actually affect important Congressional issues.

http://www.DailyPUMA.com

he did not say he would withdraw the troops in 90 days, he said within 16 months is what i heard, and i do believe that barack is going to try his best to keep all of his promises but, in this time of crisis we can't expect too much too quickly. We have to be patient as we were with Bush. He picked Rahm Emanuel to get the job done be cause he is effective in producing results.


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics


Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: