Thoughts on Rahm & the Rest as I Trek to Yale

-

rahm emanuel.jpg
Obama appointment rumors are spinning like crazy in DC. Very, very hard to tell what is real and what is self-initiated advocacy and perch-mongering from those who think they will help run Obama Land.
The most interesting thing I’ve heard — and regret (though I hope he changes his mind or takes over at Health and Human Services) — is that Tom Daschle may be taking himself out of the running as chief of staff in Barack Obama’s White House. Many around Obama think that he needs a cunning, tough, even mean chief of staff and Daschle doesn’t fit that mold. He knows it — but in my view, he’s the single best guy to help massage and manage the many egos that are going to need to be sculpted to achieve success. Daschle can also reach across the aisle — and despite the upswing in seats in the House and Senate — I think Obama needs someone like Daschle helping to run his shop.
I learned this news a couple of days ago — and heard that Rahm Emanuel wants the job. Now there is news that he’s been approached about it — which is the biggest sign that Daschle is off that list. Others under consideration are John Podesta and interestingly, former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley.
Rahm Emanuel will give Obama the tough edge he may thinks he needs at his door — but I think that Daschle, who helped Obama perhaps more than any other person by giving the young Illinois senator the keys to the Daschle political franchise, or Center for American Progress president John Podesta or even Daley would soften the impact on allies of the tough decisions coming that will make a few big winners and leave scores and scores of losers (who thought they would be winners).
Emanuel is interesting — but the first thought that came to mind when I saw word today that Obama had approached him on the role was “Dick Cheney.” Cheney was a Member of the House of Representatives. . .and a Chief of Staff. And both Cheney and Emanuel are addicted to power.
Will Rahm Emanuel help Obama create a more transparent and accountable White House — or will he propogate secrecy? Will Rahm Emanuel work to disown and give back many of the usurped powers that the White House tried to secure for itself at the expense of the legislature and judiciary — or will he try to maintain many of the monarchial instruments Bush and Cheney put in place?
I don’t know the answer actually. I hope Rahm will realize that he’s going to have to see a roll back of White House power for Obama to succeed in the eyes of those who support him and sent him to the world’s top job. We’ll see.
But on other fronts, I’m off to Yale University tonight. Tomorrow, thanks to Yale University scholars Daniel Esty and Bruce Ackerman, I’m giving a couple of talks — one to the university chapter of the American Constitution Society. Then, I’m hanging out with folks engaged in a large scale Model UN exercise….and finishing four, yep four, writing projects by tomorrow. (Yes we can. . .)
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

42 comments on “Thoughts on Rahm & the Rest as I Trek to Yale

  1. mantolama says:

    It would be great fun if Obama, assuming he wins, were to offer Justice to David Souter, whose desire to get off the court is rather palpable. Quick way to get a top-notch (though administratively untested) leader at Justice, and a quick Supreme Court vacancy right off the bat. Souter wouldn’t take it, of course, but it would be fun to watch.

    Reply

  2. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:
  3. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Carroll…Correction http://www.votenader.org

    Reply

  4. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Carroll…glad you’re not going to skip voting…I didn’t mean to dissuade you from voting BO but if you just can’t bring yourself, like me, to consent to FISA, MCA Patriot Act, etc, then Nader’s your man. I posted the link to Alexander Cockburn’s piece in another thread, but here it is again.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/article973691.ece;jsessionid=0C97C71605676F59021480375D861B01?postingType=posting&mode=thanks&postingId=976148
    The best way to become a part of Nader’s CongressWatch is to go to his website and sign on to receive his newsletter. http://www.votenaDer.org or send an email to Team@votenader.org It feels soooo good to vote one’s conscience.
    I just switched to the West Coast last night…still jetlagging…

    Reply

  5. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen Grasso Andersen Oct 31, 2:46PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Kathleen, how do I get to the Nader Congress Watch..? Got a link or a way to sign on?
    I think I will vote for Nader..I am up to here with Obama’s ‘Obamaguity’ on foreign policy.
    I don’t think Obama is going to take NC anyway since NC isn’t yet out of the red zone so my vote for Nader wouldn’t make any difference and at least would be a statement about the two party dual monarchy I keep ranting about.

    Reply

  6. James Atkinson says:

    I’m not a Rahm fan by any stretch, and I have trouble seeing Obama working close and tight with someone like Rahm, frankly.
    Obama has done an excellent job staffing up over the past couple of years, and has reached outside the normal circles to find invogorating and highly competent individuals who can work with him hand-in-glove. Daschle might fit this mold somewhat, but I’m confident the list is longer than we think.
    I would like to see DoD and DoJ named simultaneously and explicitly in conjunction with one another. State’s core diplomatic role has, I think, been usurped and damaged by Defense over the past 8 years and both departments very much need strong new — and appropriate — direction. I like Wes Clark at State and Eric Shinseki at Defense.
    It would be great fun if Obama, assuming he wins, were to offer Justice to David Souter, whose desire to get off the court is rather palpable. Quick way to get a top-notch (though administratively untested) leader at Justice, and a quick Supreme Court vacancy right off the bat. Souter wouldn’t take it, of course, but it would be fun to watch.

    Reply

  7. WigWag says:

    Ken Duberstein, Ronald Reagan’s last Chief of Staff endorsed Obama this morning. This is amazing! Dubertstein has been a Republican big wig for years and, at one time many years ago, worked for Nelson Rockefeller. Duberstein is President and CEO of the Duberstein Group,a bipartisan lobbying firm that he runs with uber Democrat, Mike Berman.
    Not only did Duberstein endorse Obama which is amazing in itself, he slammed Palin on MSNBC (the video is on You Tube).
    Boy the wheels are really coming off the Republican bus. Was it Will Rogers who said, “I’m not a member of an organized political party, I’m a Democrat?” This year, it looks like he would have said, I’m a Republican.

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    Spunkmeyer,
    It was already written! A week or two ago CounterPunch/Cockburn flunked Obama et al for having anything to do with Rubin/omics.

    Reply

  9. daCascadian says:

    Geez are you folks being played like a fiddle.
    Scary it is.
    “…it`s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…” – REM

    Reply

  10. Spunkmeyer says:

    The range of opinion on this thread makes me predict an article
    about the “failed” Obama Administration will be written no later
    than June 1, 2009.

    Reply

  11. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    I never bought the “change” meme…just one look at BO’s voting record on important issues like The Patirot Act, The Military Commissions Act, FISA and you have to know he’s for his own career…. Rahm Emmanuel? Barf… I’m not in favor of any dual citizens being in positions of influence…..for that matter I’m not in favor of any candidate who puts his own career before defending the Constitution and who can;t see anything that rises to an impeachable offense in this adminstration…..
    Carroll…don’t not vote..at least vote for Nader….if you don’t vote, you’ll just be tagged as apathetic…..the only way to register your protest is to vote for someone other than D & R….Nader is starting a nationwide CongressWatch…get on board and hold a pitchfork to the Obambots to actually bring about the change they promise.
    As for being a consiglieri, you have to know a lot, be trustworthy and not be a competitive showoff to qualify for that term….Rahm doesn’t cut it…nor would the Grand Whizzxiwhatsis of the KKK….

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    Rahm Emanuel, a dual citizen Israeli, the consigliore for the hard right Israeli lobby, the guy who lined up all the pro war dem votes for Iraq. Emanuel is a Rove, Cheney, Abrams and Sharon all rolled into one person in ballet slippers.
    Wonderful..since I am American, not Jewish nor Israeli, nor pro war with Iran or Russia or any other country …give me a reason to vote for Obama if Rham is going to be the gatekeeper for the WH like Feith was for the pentagon.
    Obama almost lost my family’s vote when he selected a 35 year political hack like Biden, now I don’t know if I can swallow Obama even considering Rham for the WH. What is it…is Obama so weak he thinks he needs babysitters like Biden and Rham?
    The closer Obama gets the more he panders to the wrong elements. Like I said about Hillary, if they will sell out American morality and principles and American security and America’s good name on Isr-Pal and Iraq and Iran for the jews and evangelicals and the knuckle- draggers vote and campaign money they will sell out on everything else too.
    I am having dire second thoughts only 4 days away and wondering if I should even vote.

    Reply

  13. Joe M. says:

    RAHM EMMANUEL SERVED IN THE MILITARY OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY, AND NOW HE IS BEING CONSIDERED AS A POSSIBLE CoS?????!!!! IT’S INSANITY. HE DIDN’T EVEN SERVE IN THE AMERICAN MILITARY. YET HE VOLUNTEERED TO FIGHT FOR A FOREIGN COUNTRY. THIS IS THE WORST POSSIBLE CHOICE FOR ANY POSITION OF POWER.

    Reply

  14. Steve Clemons says:

    rich — no worries on the Yale front. my first visit up here.
    best, steve

    Reply

  15. rich says:

    My passing comment re Yale had only to do with pitting Bush vs. Kerry. I had not attended to Steve’s trip to New Haven, and many fine folks work at Yale, so no offense and no targeted intent there. Point being, what was the choice in 2004 for voters looking for something different? Both candidates arose from a culture that didn’t or couldn’t (necessarily) conceptualize another course of action, that an outsider might be better fit to fight and win in the general election. Or grasp what an outside viewpoint could offer the country. I think that showed in how Kerry ran the campaign, how he voiced his message, and dealt with the outcome.
    And much of the electorate didn’t see, in large part for that reason, where the real difference was. Same old, same old–from both parties. The assumption that ‘well of course the best possible candidate must have this background’, is risky, does not comport with the American experience, and let Bush in the door for another four years. Being a good sport, actually thinking the choice would be obvious, and a ponderous messaging/rhetoric did not serve Kerry well. It made him seem unmotivated, a sucker, and unable to counteract Bush or drive the agenda. And that’s why we don’t need him as Sec. of State. We can’t afford a guy with the right ideas who’ll hold back reform and the repairing of international relationships. Biden can deliver on that, as he has pre-existing relationships galore in the international arena.

    Reply

  16. md says:

    I was hoping my vote this November 4th would get Rahm the patronage job he richly deserves–one on the streets of Chicago with a broom, wearing a reflective-orange Streets and Sanitation vest, and you tell me THIS? I guess the cockroach really is the most survivable form of life. 🙁

    Reply

  17. rich says:

    I don’t want to see Obama go for the obvious selections. Sen. Kerry may be a decent Secretary of State, but he’s not entitled. In many ways, a whole cohort of leaders have had their bite at the apple, and Barack Obama cannot afford to go back to that well, again, for Cabinet appointments.
    Obama will need savvy leaders managing their political blocs and checking nominal allies who are hostile to Obama’s agenda. There will be Democrats seeking to take advantage of an Obama administration—and we’ll need old hands in the Senate and the House who can keep folks in line. By ‘take advantage’, I mean extort, bully, abuse and demand concessions. The behavior of Lieberman and the Gang of 14 are obvious cases-in-point. Obama can’t afford to let a few bad actors opportunistically stick it to him and to the body politic and national interest.
    While I trust Obama to navigate this process effectively—he knows Rahm Emmanuel from Chicago—as someone from that region, I don’t trust Emmanuel at all. Picking him will be a big mistake, and Obama can better manage Rahm’s ugly game-playing and poor judgment by keeping him right where he is. In the House Emmanuel can be kept in line more effectively when he gets out of control, and used to great effect when they’re allied. As Chief of Staff, he’d be a nightmare.
    Earl Blumenauer is definitely the pick for Transportation. A paradigm shift has been gearing up across the board, and the need for the RIGHT public works and a fiscally sustainable way forward has never been stronger. He’s more than ready—he’s designed the blueprint.
    Chuck Hagel has impressed me with his sense of priorities and his definition of the national interest. He alone has explicitly identified the foundation required to rehab, retrofit, rest and reform the armed forces.
    Bill Richardson, I think, offers advantages that John Kerry cannot touch. We can’t afford to hand over the Ship of State to another Yalie, just because he’s from Yale, was on the right committees, and is from a family that goes way back and had forebears in the diplomatic corps. Harsh? Not at all. Kerry has comprehensive knowledge, but will be needed to maintain focus in committee in the Senate.
    Bill Richardson has already proven effective on the global stage, and we can’t afford Kerry’s indulgent assumption that between Himself being the obvious choice and good sportsmanship, he’ll win his battles. There is something to the effete argument; a fighter like Howard Dean had easily as much to offer, and the country made a profound error in settling for conventional qualifications of the ’04 nominee. Massachussetts is just as much ‘a small state’ as Vermont or Alaska, and I think everybody’s had just about enough of the notion that Kerry/_whoever__ gets yet anOther shot just because they’re STILL first in line.
    Richardson will be a trip, but so what? We need to shake it off and get over those side issues. Effective and progressive does not equate to ‘off the reservation’ or overcome by ‘personal whim’, Steve. Richardson implemented commuter rail in New Mexico, of all places, when the federal level was gridlocked by parochial interests and wasn’t functional enough to deliver much-needed policy.
    It’s not rocket science. We know what needs to be done. What we don’t need is another long-winded exegesis imploring us to accept less than we deserve, while he gets taken advantage of on the playing field. This is not an unfair request.
    Will revisit this. Point is, in every sea-change or paradigm-shift, those qualified in conventional terms are swept away with the ossified ideas that’ve so poorly served us under new conditions of a reality that’s already ruled the day for a decade. That’s what America’s about.
    That’s why I was so disappointed, Steve, that you had Tom Friedman comment/question your Brzezinksi-Scowcroft dialog at the National Cathedral. It’s one too many bites at the apple, after a lengthening record of bloody failure. Is Friedman smart? Of course—but he doesn’t listen, and that’s what had cost the country. Friedman was dead wrong about WTO 12-15 years ago, he was dead wrong about the Iraq, before and after the invasion and Occupation, and hasn’t acknowledged that forthrightly.
    Had Friedman listened to the WTO protesters’ actual message instead of shamelessly mocking them, he’d have glommed onto the critical environmental and economic omissions that’ve led straight to our current crises. Had Friedman listened, he’d have gotten a clue about environmental solutions in 1999—rather than presuming to be Prometheus now.
    Pre-war, had Friedman listened in Iowa Town Hall-style meetings—instead of interrupting and steamrolling his betters—he wouldn’t have been able or willing to cheerlead America into an Iraq quagmire that identically repeated every mistake we made in Vietnam. Post-war, Friedman has acknowledged precisely zero.
    It’s one thing to be right on many points; it’s quite another to continually turn solely to a person who has enormous blind spots and who refused to listen to those who had more resonsible positions and better ideas. So that he’s one of the only voices heard. It’s going back to the same well that failed us on THE major economic, environmental and foreign policy issues of the past 30 years. Friedman led the charge on WTO and Iraq; we’re reaping the whirlwind.
    I don’t propose shutting out anyone’s voice. It’s worth insisting, though, that those who’ve been proven right are included in key conversations. You understand, don’t you, how limitless an insult it is to present the same faces who got us into this mess? Who did not listen?
    Disappointed you erred in choosing the National Cathedral, a venue which cannot anoint the ideas exchanged as sacrosanct. I’m sure there were good ideas floated; I know it was an excellent forum. But without wider participation, the United States will continue down the same path, and I see Dennis Ross’ inclusion on the Obama team as evidence we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet.

    Reply

  18. Bill R. says:

    Steve, you’re circulating a phony rumor. Daschle is still the leading contender.
    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/10/31/daschle_still_favorite_for_obama_chief_of_staff.html

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    The more I reflect on this trial balloon, the more difficult it is for me to take it seriously. If Obama wants the Oval Office to be a feared and unapproachable citadel, with visitors unwilling to speak their minds for fear of retribution, then Emmanuel is his guy. But he clearly *doesn’t* want that. And I don’t think he wants to see a bunch of stories about “Obama’s Pit Bull” or “Obama’s Little Bastard” or “Obama’s Kneecapper”. That’s not the message he is trying to communicate, and Emmanuel doesn’t represent the kind of executive style that suits Obama personally or is conducive to the kind of administration he is planning on conducting.
    Discipline? Of course. Every president needs to run a tight ship. But I’m pretty sure Obama wants to err on the side of information flowing in rather than information being kept out, and could use a Chief of Staff who knows how to manage a tight ship that is still open to the outside world. Emmanuel is more of a Bushian than a Barackian character. He’s the kind of Chief of Staff you would want for a president who is set up as a manipulated simpleton, that needs a gatekeeper to make sure that he does not start “taking an interest” in ideas his handlers think are dangerous.

    Reply

  20. Curious observer says:

    Wow, Rahm as Chief of Staff and Bibi as Israeli PM? What a combo. McCain gets “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” even if he loses.

    Reply

  21. Liz says:

    Steve that is so interesting. You see, I tipped Daschle about a tremendous, outrageous problem inside HHS about two months or so ago. I was asking for help at the time but he never responded. I can’t blame him.
    I’ve got information no other citizen has about some issues inside the government. These issues affect our country’s finances in a very very major way. They are about what I believe is America’s largest financial crime.
    Daschle is smart to stay away because there is nothing left to manage essentially.
    Look up the SSA Trust Fund and the Medicare Trust Fund. The trusts are supposed to have two Trustees appointed from outside of the government , overseeing these funds.
    The Trustee positions are vacant this year for the first time since the positions were established in 1984.
    Problems….. Oh you betcha. Evidence… I have it all right here.
    I believe AIG and our Trust Funds might have been tied up together somehow…. and I am truly ” just an average citizen”, that got thrown the biggest curve ball in the history of this country.

    Reply

  22. Continuity? says:

    This is scary: Top Obama Advisor signs on to Roadmap to War with Iran (http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=198)
    Dennis Ross should be sidelined immediately.

    Reply

  23. Mr.Murder says:

    Daschle killed health care. He stood by while the Iraq war fiasco was crankstarted. He’s leprous to any notion of consistency with Obama’s original message.
    Yeah, put him there.
    Rahm was one of the people tabling this entire run, counting on record negative GOP ratings while he personally milk toasted the entire Democratic menu of issues and policies.
    F any notion of a new Presidential seal.
    Put Obama’s name on a big empty suit from the Men’s Warehouse. He’ll guarantee it.

    Reply

  24. daCascadian says:

    Just a reminder for the folks here as to how this all works.
    These are power games. Each player is playing a hand based on a set of goals. A player plays by passing along information that may or may not be true or false to other players depending as to how the player perceives their goal set and the necessary steps to accomplish their goals via manipulaing other players perceptions.
    A reader can be played as well as play the blogger. The blogger can play their sources just like the sources can play the blogger.
    Everyone is a player as well as one that is played.
    All this happens in a house of mirrors (that reflect with different levels of distortion) filled with smoke that densifies and lightens depending on certain variables, some known and some unknown to each player.
    Of course this is simply a metaphor.
    All this is labeled POLITICS.
    Don`t forget this.
    (and once again your captcha mechanism has no clue what it shows – as always when this happens I`ll just call up another page until I get one that knows what it displays; real crapware it is)
    “…it`s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…” – REM

    Reply

  25. DavidT says:

    Steve,
    Not sure what you mean by “power-hungry.” I’m no more a fan of Vice President Cheney than you are. However I think it might be useful to ask what lessons we can learn from his tenure.
    What do people who revile him so revile? Is it his power or the issues he champions? If he were a big supporter of national health insurance and used his bureaucratic skill to get it passed would we decry him? If he had been appalled by Guantanamo and Abu Gharib (rather than someone who supported them) and made certain that such abominations never existed again in our history, would his power be decried by those who decry him now?
    Rather, I think the primary problem with Cheney, in spite of all the discussion of his ways of operating, is what he supported (some of which I consider extra-constitutional). Yes his effectiveness compounded one’s dislike for him in pushing so many initiatives that so many of us consider odious.
    However, I can think of few more important characteristics of a chief of staff than effectiveness. I have no reason to believe that Emanuel would push for extra constitutional measures or that his boss (if he were chief of staff) would support them. If Emanuel is even half as able as Cheney was to get his way (and again getting his way in this case would be getting Obama’s way), he would make a terrific chief of staff (and easily be much better than a Mack McClarty who may not have been “power-hungry” but was probably out of his depth).

    Reply

  26. DonH@hotmail.com says:

    Thoughtful, “real change”, mellow Obama and Rahm Emanuel? Sounds like a marriage made in hell. Is this Obama’s “real change” message for America?
    Here are Wikipedia comments on Emmuel.
    “At this point of his political career he was known for his intensity. Notably, he reportedly told British Prime Minister Tony Blair, “This is important. Don’t fuck it up,” prior to Blair appearing in public with Clinton for the first time after the Lewinsky scandal emerged.[9] Emanuel is said to have “mailed a rotting fish to a former coworker after the two parted ways.”[8] On the night after the Clinton election, “Emanuel was so angry at the president’s enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting ‘Dead! … Dead! … Dead!’ and plunging the knife into the table after every name.”[1] His “take-no-prisoners attitude” earned him the nickname “Rahm-bo”.[8]
    In 1998, Emanuel served on the Chicago Housing Association board and was repeatedly accused of undermining fair and affordable housing for low-income minorities. Opponents cite incidents during which Emanuel left concerned citizens meetings in which Section 8 housing destruction was authorized to talk on his cell phone or take early lunches. He has never publicly commented on his CHA years.”
    Barack Obama’s campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday as the marathon presidential race entered its final, frenzied stretch with a Democratic tilt.
    Republicans seized on the disclosure. “Emanuel is among the most vitriolic and partisan people in American politics,” said Alex Conant, a Republican National Committee spokesman. “Reports that Obama wants him to be White House chief of staff undercut any claims to unity and bipartisanship, and should alarm every voter.”

    Reply

  27. Zathras says:

    Steve Clemons’ post here illustrates the limitations of belief in a candidate on whom his supporters project their own views. Barack Obama is days away from being chosen President, and outside a very small inner circle none of his supporters have much of an idea what kind of President he will be. Many of them have strong ideas as to the kind of President he should be, but that is not the same thing; they supported Obama not because they knew he agreed with their ideas, but because they thought he might. Now they are just hoping he does.
    So do I, though I wouldn’t call myself an Obama supporter beyond the fact that I will have to vote for him (I mean, really. What choice is there this year?). I am aware that both he and his administration will do things I disagree with more often than not; on a personal level I have other reservations about Obama as well. However, after eight years of one disorderly administration and eight more of an administration that was much worse, I am hopeful that Obama’s apparent fondness for orderly procedures represents something of his beliefs about how government should be run, as opposed to representing David Axelrod’s beliefs about how a Presidential campaign should be run. It’s a campaign about hope, right? That’s mine.

    Reply

  28. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, my initial thought about the floating of Emmanuel’s name at this particular juncture was “Florida electoral votes”.
    My second thought is that Emmanuel is floating his name himself. My next thought is “control freak.” I agree Emmanuel is tough, but I don’t know that I trust him as Obama’s gate-keeper. And I don’t know that Obama should trust him either. Obama says he is all about – and I believe him – inclusion, listening, open communication and participation. Emmanuel is about power games, and insider control and domination of the process.
    I would also feel more comfortable with Podesta or Daschle.
    Emmanuel certainly merits some role however, if he wants it, since he did a lot to help get Obama elected.

    Reply

  29. Wayne says:

    I think Obama needs to keep himself from the trap Bill Clinton fell
    into during his transition. He brought to many people from
    Arkansas with him and those first two years were a fiasco.
    The politicians of Chicago are a different breed, of course and are
    among the best in DC. But still, if he wins Obama needs to make
    sure his cabinet is not top heavy with Chicagoans.

    Reply

  30. JohnH says:

    Emmanuel would NOT be change you can believe in–he was responsible for recruiting pro-war Democratic candidates or Congress and stiffing progressives in 2006. Much of the Democrats’ paralysis regarding bringing the troops home was a direct result of Emmanuel’s recruitment.
    Obama needs to engage Blue Dogs and DLC Democrats, not put them in charge and capitulate from day 1.

    Reply

  31. Linda says:

    Oops didn’t copy the whole thing when trying to deal with captcha.
    For years DNC led by Howard Dean with his 50 state strategy worked very hard that paid off in 2006 and will again this year. Dean’s leadership at the DNC provided the base from which the Obama team could build and run one of the most brilliant political campaigns in perhaps the past 100 years.

    Reply

  32. Alex says:

    what about Rahm for Obama’s senate seat, Steve? or are there other candidates for that?

    Reply

  33. Linda says:

    We’re still calling people, going door-to-door down here in GA where already 25% have early voted–not sure if we’ll end up blue, but it is possible.
    I’d prefer to speculate next week, but I’d like to see more than just Senators in the Cabinet though they are all good choices. And the person I’d like to see as Secretary of HHS is Howard Dean who has executive experience–much needed in running a large department.
    Also I recall two years ago and last fall when people from Democratic Party came door-to-door here to ask for funds to have a viable Democratic

    Reply

  34. steve clemons says:

    leo — you are right. i was snarky with “thanks for playing…” it’s been a long day.
    but to just put my cards on the table, I’m critical to some degree of anyone on the Obama team doing anything that looks like drape measuring antics. I have written about this before and basically gave a warning to obama and his close followers not to get on that track (around the time of the fundraiser in philadelphia)…and shortly after, obama sent out word to his people to NOT get overconfident.
    but as a blogger/writer/think tank guy — my writing about who is angling for what job — who is out and who is in a largely untransparent process does not mean that I am advocating that they start measuring the drapes. The fact is that both teams really need to be.
    I can’t imagine McCain winning at this point, not with what we see at the moment — so I’ve opted to be fair and balanced in TV interviews on the possibility of McCain pulling it out, but on the blog — I just don’t see it and won’t write it anymore. I’m pretty sick of the election actually and want it over.
    If McCain did win, I see a lot of anger erupting in the country….that’s not going to happen this time…
    Anyway, no worries. I love your posts — but I didn’t like the Muslim reference as I really, really don’t like the increasingly prevalent use of the term “Muslim” in soft (or hard) negative ways.
    I know you didn’t intend that — but it did set me off a bit.
    More later…keep up the commentary.
    Snarkily yours —
    And to Spunky, you are definitely THE card…
    steve

    Reply

  35. mike/ says:

    i heard the Emanuel rumor a couple of weeks ago. i would be leery
    of him as Chief of Staff. i had the same questions you bring up
    when i first heard it.
    also, i think that he is best in the House. he has been effective in
    ways others haven’t.
    my personal reaction, from having been in the same room as him a
    couple of times, is that he is the second biggest blow-hard in
    Chicago politics, and, no, i don’t think the mayor is #1 – Luis
    Guitterez is.

    Reply

  36. leo says:

    And, speaking of snarky… “thanks for playing” takes the cake.

    Reply

  37. leo says:

    Well maybe I was being a bit offensive, but in a limited/absurd way.
    But the right wing definitely uses these “the race is over” presumptions by Democrats to energize their base in the days leading up to the election.
    I’m sitting around worrying that the pollsters have been fooled by Republicans throughout the US who admire those people in the 2004 NH exit polls that pretended they’d voted for Kerry.
    I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think this is a great blog.

    Reply

  38. Spunkmeyer says:

    Say what you want about Andy Card, but he was a very good asset
    to Bush. Notice how his absence has been felt. Obama needs an
    Andy Card (not THE Andy Card, mind you…)
    I have no problems with the transition team being discussed. This
    economic situation is only getting started. Planning for things
    now gives the hope we’ll see daylight by 2011. No, that wasn’t a
    typo.

    Reply

  39. rapier says:

    Rove wanted to be Mark Hanna. Rahm wants to be Tony Cuello. I don’t think there is any money in being Chief of staff. I suppose that could come later. Still it’s really hard work with no guarantee you will have the job next year. If you goof up or events go against your White House you might find yourself with no upside, for the rest of your life.

    Reply

  40. Karl says:

    I don’t know why Rahm would want that. He’s going to be Speaker within a decade and will have a leadership position until he dies. Why take CoS and have to start all over again with his political career, it makes no sense overall.
    Also I think Emmanuel would be a horrible Chief of Staff. That’s not the right kind of job for him. Podesta would be the perfect guy for the job in my opinion, he’s been prepping for it for the last 5 years, he’s done the job it during what I think was the best managed part of Clinton’s term and he’s managing the transition team already. He’s got the fighting Chicago spirit Rahm has while also having the coalition building skills needed and he’s got just the right management style.
    There have been rumors that he also took himself out of the running but I don’t think they are true and I hope not.
    As for Daschle. I’m hoping he gets HHS. He’s the only guy who I think has the smarts and the skills to get health care reform done. It’s a very tough task but I can think of no one better suited to the job then Daschle.
    My fantasy cabinent as of today.
    Sos: John Kerry
    SoD: Chuck Hagel
    SoT: Tim Geithner
    AG: Eric Holder
    CoS: John Podesta
    HHS: Tom Daschle
    SoE: Hilda Solis
    SoA: Tom Vilsack
    SoTrans: Earl Blumenauer

    Reply

  41. Steve Clemons says:

    Leo — It may be a ‘fitting the drapes’ piece — but the reality is that there is a transition discussion and process underway in Washington. Deal with it. It’s happening. If McCain wins — then the prospective candidates for these jobs will not get them. But there is an active, vigorous process of appointments going on RIGHT NOW. And this deserves comment and review – to the degree we get any insights into who the team will look like and what their composition may mean for the character and priorities of policy.
    So thanks for playing — but frankly — your note is snarky and out of place. Part of the political responsibilities of the person who will win the White House is to quickly acknowledge who will lead in his key finance and national security posts. This is not a transparent process — and people like me think that this appointment process deserves and should involve public comment.
    And your last line is truly offensive.
    – Steve Clemons

    Reply

  42. leo says:

    Another hypocritical “fitting the drapes” piece Steve (that pseudo-Presidential seal seems rather mild by comparison), why not suggest that rumors have it that DC insiders actually have concluded that Obama truely is a muslim?

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *