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Rahm Emanuel's hire by Barack Obama sparks predictable -- and surprising -- GOP responses

November 6, 2008 |  1:25 pm

Rep. Rahm Emanuel's reputation as a hard-core, hard-charging Democratic partisan preceded him in most of the Republican reaction to his selection as White House chief of staff for Barack Obama.

The choice prompted a terse, negative statement from GOP House Leader John Boehner:

This is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center.

A far lengthier -- and unrelentingly negative -- missive came from the media staff at the Republican National Committee. It can be perused here, but the RNC also conveniently provided a synopsis:

After Promising Change, Obama Selects Hyper-Partisan Wedded to Special Interests as His White House Chief of Staff.

But then there were these words, from Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina and John McCain's frequent traveling companion in the just-completed presidential campaign:

This is a wise choice by President-elect Obama.

Graham, praising Emanuel for "great political skills," continued:

I worked closely with him during the presidential debate negotiations which were completed in record time. When we hit a rough spot, he always looked for a path forward. I consider Rahm to be a friend and colleague. He's tough but fair. Honest, direct, and candid. These qualities will serve President-elect Obama well.

So much for a unified Republican message.

For a video report on who else will join the newly-forming Obama administration, click the video below.

-- Don Frederick

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