Many in the movement left are having a heart attack that the first major move of President-elect Barack Obama is the appointment of Congressman Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel has accepted.
I preferred Senator Tom Daschle for the job. Daschle has vision and implementation skills that many will never be able acquire — but Daschle didn’t want the position in the end.
The Rahm Emanuel I know is tenaciously focused on results and will do nearly any thing to win — and if winning for the Obama administration and the American public is what we are putting forward here, then his appointment can be a good thing.
My greatest fear about Emanuel is that he might perpetuate a “false choice” orientation towards Israel in Middle East affairs that he’s going to have to compensate for and get under control. There are no rational alternatives in the Middle East than actually delivering on a Palestinian state and finally putting the Middle East peace business out of business.
Emanuel needs to prove his judiciousness by not preempting serious progress in Israel/Palestine affairs and not encouraging Barack Obama to make the mistake of trying to define his presidency by exploiting some national security conflict. There are downsides to the JFK comparison.
— Steve Clemons