The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Emanuel: 'There's Not Hard Feelings' Over Gregg Withdrawal

By Michael D. Shear and Alec MacGillis
Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told reporters this afternoon that the president is disappointed by Judd Gregg's decision to withdraw but that there are no hard feelings toward the New Hampshire Republican.

"It's better we find out now than later," Emanuel told a small group of reporters who were originally scheduled to talk with him about the stimulus package.

"From our side it's unfortunate, but there's not hard feelings. It's better that it happens now than when you had someone in the Cabinet," he said.

Emanuel refused to speculate on Gregg's reasoning in taking the Commerce job a week ago and then withdrawing today.

"I don't want to play psychologist and get in his head," Emanuel said. "If I said I wasn't disappointed, I would lack credibility."

Asked whether the incident reflects an "amateur hour" in the White House, Rahm pushed back, describing a litany of accomplishments the president has made in his three-week tenure, including passage of the stimulus plan and the second half of the funding for the bank bailout.

As the president says, Emanuel told reporters, "There are days with setbacks."

He also said the president plans to continue reaching out to Republicans despite the GOP's almost unified opposition to his stimulus plan.

"The president is always going to reach out to people of both parties. That's what he's always wanted. He wants a lot of ideas," Emanuel said.

Emanuel said that Gregg initially contacted him on Monday to say that he was getting cold feet about taking the job. That was less than a week after his selection was announced by Obama in the White House Grand Foyer.

"He must have been noodling this over the weekend," Emanuel said of Gregg.

The Monday conversation was followed up by a White House meeting with the president on Wednesday, and then Gregg's public announcement today.

Posted at 7:20 PM ET on Feb 12, 2009  | Category:  Cabinet
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I apologize for calling you an idiot. Whatever our differences may be, showing disrespect to interlocutors is not an acceptable solution.

Posted by: rooster54 | February 14, 2009 10:09 AM

Jtennessen, are you serious? Cede the floor. Sir, you are wildly dramatizing this entire thread.

However, the people that "paved the way" for the Gestapo were not knee-jerks or immature thinkers. Some had brilliant minds, but the road they chose was a road of submission to anyone who defied them. The "free speech" in our country should never be squelched by anyone, including an opposing party or a gung-ho citizen of that party, no matter how you feel about Obama... what were the words you used? "whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration". That's lovely.

We don't all share your emotions, however.

That almost audible sigh at the beginning of your post is very typical of the liberal in you. You have tried so hard to allow me a small glimpse into your very intellectual thinking, but you have sadly failed and now you are "ceding" the floor.

Regardless, you appear to have left your common sense in the mud room. This pig is going to wallow in the mud room. I sing beautifully, by the way, and without any prompting by a single liberal.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 7:33 PM


(sigh) Well, I tried. I tried to have a rational discussion with you. I guess there are some people who just won't use their faculties of reason, regardless of how fervently one hopes for it. Sir, you know neither me, nor my "kind." I am not a "liberal," despite whatever you want to tell yourself to justify your sense of persecution. You mention the Gestapo -- it was people with the same sort of unthinking, knee-jerk refusal to engage in mature dialog with people who have opposing viewpoints that paved the way for the Gestapo and the myriad similar organizations that litter the pages of human history.

BTW, in regard to Bush and the weather, you are mischaracterizing the intent of those billboards. They were warning that the policies of the Bush administration (not Bush himself) failed to deal adequately with the crisis of climate change, and that one of the consequences of climate change is increasingly violent storms. Though I support the sensationalist manner in which they attempted to drive home their point no more than I do your distortions, portraying that as "blaming Bush for the weather" is either disingenuous or obtuse or both.

Well, in the end, I am reminded of an old saying: "There is no point in trying to teach a pig to sing -- it wastes your time and annoys the pig." Therefore, I cede the floor to you sir. You may have the last word.

Posted by: JTennessen | February 13, 2009 7:17 PM

It's pretty sad, Roos that you and old JTennessen can't detect tongue in cheek comments and stoop to calling concerned citizens "idiots". It really isn't much fun, if you don't "get it".

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 7:14 PM

Move On is actually right about that.

Posted by: rooster54 | February 13, 2009 7:07 PM
heeheeehawwww. That's dang hilarious there Roos. I thought I was the only idiot on this board, but dang it you proved me wrong.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 7:12 PM

Remember those unborn fetuses you profess to love, turn into people (whom you would probably hate), and if you do anything for people, you might turn into a socialist.

Incidentally, I've spent some time in other countries, and you're an idiot.

Posted by: rooster54 | February 13, 2009 6:48 PM
Now you are getting a little too chummy there, rooster. Thinking you know me.

We can all help people without becoming socialists and yes, I was aware that fetuses, if allowed to live will grow into full-blown adults, but thanks for reminding me.

Met a lot of idiots, on your excursions, have you?

Well, you know Roos, you don't mind if I call you Roos, do you? Hope you get to spend much more time in other countries in the future, but you may not want to tell them you came from the U.S. Right now, they HATE us because of the old stimulus bill, especially China. They hate us so much, they said it twice. Stay out of China, Roos, and maybe Taiwan, Korea...they don't like us, Any of those Russian, Asian or European looks like you are running out of options.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 7:10 PM

Move On is actually right about that.

Posted by: rooster54 | February 13, 2009 7:07 PM

The "Pledge of Allegiance" was written by a Christian Socialist named Bellamy. Look it up.

Most of us figured out Joseph McCarthy was a paranoid nut, and that his "enemies" were decent conscientious people who didn't deserve what mass hysteria did to them.

Nobody's coming to "pry your cold dead hands" off of your precious guns, but your postings suggest you might be a dangerous lunatic who could use some help.

Posted by: rooster54 | February 13, 2009 7:05 PM

"liberal political action group is saying that President George W. Bush is to blame for “making extreme weather stronger.”


Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 7:00 PM

Remember those unborn fetuses you profess to love, turn into people (whom you would probably hate), and if you do anything for people, you might turn into a socialist.

Incidentally, I've spent some time in other countries, and you're an idiot.

Posted by: rooster54 | February 13, 2009 6:48 PM

Rooster54, yes. I am barricaded and having all my food delivered and my calls screened. I am not wearing a tin foil hat, however, as that would not easily be biodegradable.

I only have a few firearms, but they are locked and loaded.

Which part of this socialist presidency don't you understand, rooster? I'll try to explain. I am a patient person.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 6:31 PM

BLAME BUSH FOR THE WEATHER: This is only one small excerpt. They are all over the internet and I heard this accusation about 1.5 years ago on the news. Sad, sad, sad, JTennessen, get your head out of your intellectual sandhill.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 6:26 PM

Are you barricaded somewhere with a foil hat and a bunch of firearms? What a bunch of hallucinatory paranoid nonsense!

Posted by: rooster54 | February 13, 2009 6:25 PM

JTennessen: I may not know YOU, but I do know your KIND. You are all about liberalism and what that stands for, including socialism and communism.

I will continue to make the remarks that I choose to make concerning your beloved Obama with the same dignity that was shown to President Bush, that is until the Gestapo comes a knockin'.

If I choose to be humorous with my posts, not histrionic by the way, then you will have to either develop a sense of humor or turn the other cheek, which by the way is not a strong point for a liberal

It would seem from your post that you are enamored with the one. Better wear your seat belt becuase the ride is about to get really bumpy.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 6:12 PM


>Please ask yourself one thing. Why is that you have not called to task these other posters, who "ahem" are on your side. These posters are over the edge and using hyperbole, but you don't call them out by name. WHY IS THAT?

>Will you answer that question? Of course not.

Here's another small piece of advice: don't assume you know another person based on 150 words they posted to an online forum. I assert that you know, for all intents and purposes, nothing about me, my political views, nor what "side" I am on. I have never employed the kind of verbal histrionics in which you indulge with regard to any public figure, and that includes the previous administration.

I singled you out for push-back because your vituperation was aimed at a man for whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration. You had the same option to rationally admonish those whose rhetorical flourishes were aimed at others, but you chose a different path.

Yes, I support President Obama. Does that fact alone place me in a certain portion of the political spectrum? As I mentioned, he has been lambasted over these past weeks by many on both extremes, while a sizable majority of us in the middle think he is doing a great job. On the other hand, most Americans feel that President Bush deserves condemnation for widespread incompetence and mishandling of our nation's business (though I certainly never heard anyone blame him for bad weather). If we extrapolate those facts, we would be forced to conclude that our country has suddenly become overwhelmingly "liberal" -- an odd and precipitous shift for a nation that only a few short months ago was widely viewed as being "center right."

Don't you see how meaningless these labels are? There's no question that it's convenient to be able to put someone who disagrees with you into an ideological box because that makes it easier to marginalize them and shut them out of political discourse. But these classifications are, at best, simple-minded and, at worst, mendacious. If we are ever going to solve the many problems that beset us at this moment in history, we simply must find a way to rise above this. Let's be better than those who employ such tactics; let's refuse to engage in the same self-destructive behavior that has brought us to this impasse; let's agree to disagree civilly and with at least some modicum of dignity.

Posted by: JTennessen | February 13, 2009 3:58 PM

" "You're doing a heck of a job, Rahmie!"

Posted by: HepKatt "
How dare you compare a national disaster in which many people died and thousands made homeless to something as insignificant as a cabinet withdrawal.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 13, 2009 11:51 AM

Quit pussytfootin' around with these money-hugging republicans.

Jim Hightower for Secretary of Commerce.

Posted by: rooster54 | February 13, 2009 11:03 AM

w04equals666 - good one. minor rewrite: President Obama, "You're doing a heck of a job, Rahmie!"

Posted by: HepKatt | February 13, 2009 10:36 AM

Rush, Republicans and rightwing business leaders do seem to have formed an insurgency to defeat the Obama presidency. Maybe Hillary should be added to that group as well?

Posted by: HepKatt | February 13, 2009 10:34 AM

Partisanship in the defense of principled change -- not rhetoric, but real, take='em-on change -- is no vice.




... coordinated multi-agency action "programs of personal destruction" manned by security/intel/revenue agents, local police nationwide, citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and anti-terrorism programs.




Posted by: scrivener50 | February 13, 2009 10:28 AM

Shouldn't the "hard feelings" be President Obama's over Rahm Emmanuel's pitiful performance in his first month on the job? Emmanuel should be taking the hits instead of the president.

Posted by: HepKatt | February 13, 2009 10:16 AM

J Tennessen: Yes, it did sound rather hyperbolic and though I was trying to be humorous, it was rather all over the place, but, in the clear light of day and after re-reading some of the posts once again; if you will read down a bit you will notice that Republicans have been called "The Taliban Insurgents" on this same thread and there was talk of Rush Limbaugh holding Gregg's balls, just to mention a couple.

Please ask yourself one thing. Why is that you have not called to task these other posters, who "ahem" are on your side. These posters are over the edge and using hyperbole, but you don't call them out by name. WHY IS THAT?

Will you answer that question? Of course not. There has alwasy been two standards in the eyes of liberals. One for them and one for everyone else. Isn't that hypocritical? Just a wee bit?

And I say to you, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

How the liberals have berated President Bush for eight years. Don't you think that turnabout it fair play? He has been accused of even a whiff of any problem that might occur. He was even blamed for bad weather. How hyperbolic do you think that was? I would venture to guess, probably not at all.

I have none, nada, zilch respect for the liberals in this country. They are so over-the-top self righteous when it comes to calling someone out on the exact same thing that they have practiced for eight long years.

I might be taken seriously if I didn't use hyperbole, etc? Don't make me laugh even more. What utter hypocrisy!

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 13, 2009 10:00 AM

the president should stop trying to be friendly with these idiots, i didn't think it through??? when is the last time he had a thought on his own?(herd mentality). limgbaudh?? fat, can't hear drug addict. if no one noticed, if you want a radio show, be a republican, convicted felon, drug addict and you're in i.e. limbaugh, north, liddy, and i do listen to limbaugh because i need to know who his advertisers are so as not to buy there products and save money-keep it going rush.

Posted by: lookitkup | February 13, 2009 9:40 AM

Gregg said he hadn't really thought it through before accepting. This kinda expresses the typical foresight of all Republicans!

Posted by: DGSPAMMAIL | February 13, 2009 8:36 AM

OldManTalking wrote:
Will some one please tell the GOP that bipartisanship doesn't mean half of the power. If it did, why would we need elections? Everything would get done 50:50, or to put it more succinctly depending on which party was wrong... half ass-ed,

Posted by: OldManTalking | February 13, 2009 1:53 AM

Cross out the word, "wouldn't" in my first sentence. Sorry.

Posted by: lynettema | February 13, 2009 1:28 AM

When Gregg wouldn't withheld his vote from the stimulus, it was a big, red flag. Some are saying that when Gregg learned that Emanuel was going to be looking over his shoulder when Gregg did the census, that was when he decided to leave. Apparently, the GOPers wanted Gregg in that position to control the census.

Peter Fenn, Democratic media consultant:

Just how do you spell "Bizarre?" Let me get this straight. Senator Gregg is an intelligent, fairly conservative Republican who has been around this town for a long time. He didn't just fall off the turnip truck. He knew President Obama's agenda, he knew the stimulus plans contents, he knew the direction that he wanted to take the country, he knew the specifics of his economic plan, including tax and spending issues. In short, there is no "eureka" moment where suddenly there is a new revelation that comes to light. So, then, why did he pull out at considerable embarrassment to himself and the President? One very clear answer: the partisan, ideological, straight-jacketed Republicans got to him. The Republicans, save a few, have shown themselves capable of throwing pragmatism and effective government to the winds these last few weeks. Sad commentary. Their new name: Grandstanding OLD Party.

Posted by: lynettema | February 13, 2009 1:27 AM


Talk about overreacting. All the President said, very calmly I might add, is that Republicans ought to stop listening to Limbaugh if they are serious about helping to solve the problems our nation faces. The man did, after all, state publicly that he hopes the President's efforts fail, which by extension means that he hopes our troubles get worse. A "petulant child?" On what planet do petulant children act as calmly, rationally, and with as much dignity as President Obama has displayed at all times, despite the brickbats being tossed his way from both sides of the political spectrum? How did we get from a simple, offhand remark to public hangings? You need to curb your instinct for hyperbole because it undermines whatever credibility your arguments might otherwise have. As it stands, your histrionics make it difficult for any thinking person to take you seriously.

Posted by: JTennessen | February 13, 2009 1:10 AM

Vultures. Cocking their ugly naked heads and opening their mouths in greedy anticipation. Getting as close as they dare. Deformed, cowardly scavengers. They're always there. Ever hopeful.

Posted by: nodebris | February 13, 2009 12:02 AM

Rush Limbaugh? What has he got to do with the price of tea in China? The man is a radio talk show host for crying out loud, but I must admit I find it very amusing that he nettles the liberals as much as he does. Why, even the President of the United States, the president for all people (supposedly) has singled out a citizen of this country, Rush as a problem. Doesn't Mr. Obama have more to worry about than a little ole radio talk show host? It is a sad day indeed with the POTUS singles out a citizen of our country and names him by name as a person that the Republicans do not need to listen to...where has our freedom of speech gone? Who thinks this is just plain petty? Petty and childlike. His demeanor is not presidential material, but that of a petulant child who intends to bully his way into power. First with scare tactics and bullying. What next? Public hangings?

I have seen more Democratic mantra repeated on this website that really is hilarious. Having just a little bit of trouble thinking for yourselves, are we?

On another funny note, it would seem that the liberals are salivating to blame Gregg for this whole affair. How dare he have any principles!!! The census taken away from the commerce department for political purposes and he should just shut up? The Obama administration will use the data to manipulate more Democrats into office with redistricting, but that is okay with all the liberals. What's the big deal, right? BUT, if that were Bush doing the same thing, well he would be demonized straight into hell if it were within your power. Some things you let slide and some things you don't. Your conscience has been seared. You don't know what's right and what's wrong anymore. You are upside down and inside out.

An example of upside down and inside out would be that you are willing to say killing unborn children is okay, (cause you "forgot" to take your birth control pill) but there are major investigations over the killing of wolves and bears in Alaska that are over-running the state and annhilating the caribou babies. Don't you see how utterly ridiculous you look? You have devalued human life.

It appears that you are all just highly perturbed because Obama got caught with his hand in the cookie jar already, not even one month out from the inauguration. Sheeesh, this is the same old song and dance. Some sheeple will never learn.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 12, 2009 11:51 PM

We are witnessing the sign of the Taliban Insurgents (REPUBLICANS) declaring all out war against President Obama. Spread the word. President Obama the Republicans will hate you because you’ll smarter, more popular and better than they are.(You didn't need to lie to get elected). Most important,they hate you because you have defeated them in every way that matters. You should not put all of your projected good intentions upon your GOP Opponents.

Posted by: ohhduh04 | February 12, 2009 11:45 PM

Dear Mr Gregg:

Sorry about your balls.

Maybe if you ask nicely, Rush Limbaugh will let you have them back on weekends.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 12, 2009 11:26 PM

Good day! Check out *** SUGARBABYDATE. C OM *** plz. There are Over millions of profiles from all over the world! No matter where you are or what you are, you can find someone just around your neighborhood. You can get their pictures, phone numbers, locations, and almost any information.Everything is FREE! 34

Posted by: kylewu86 | February 12, 2009 10:15 PM

барак обама - Да мы можем!

Spending your way out of a bankrupt/spending problem. real smart. real smart. Do people realize that the US government is spending money that unborn people will have to slave to pay off? NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION! Remember that? How are the people who cant even vote yet being represented when the legislature and government is putting them DEEP into debt? Answer that, pseudo-boffins!

This is the most disgusting start of a "populist" I have ever seen.

Posted by: mickrussom | February 12, 2009 9:31 PM

Shut up Rahm, you AIPAC lackey, gun grabbing crooked nut with a father in a terrorist group named Irgun. Shut UP, Rahm.

What a stinking dissapointment Rahm Scummanual turned out to be.

Again, Shut up Rahm.

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste"...

"What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before"...

Yes, he can do things that the electorate would never vote for popularly.

Posted by: mickrussom | February 12, 2009 9:26 PM

Obama gets credit for trying and showing how hard it is to reach across the aisle. He's earned the scars of bipartisan outreach many times in the 23 days he's been President.

Gregg gets credit for being true to himself but he earns a demerit for embarrassing himself and the President by accepting the job offer in the first place; didn't he know about the Stimulus last week? Didn't he know Obama was a Democrat?

Posted by: asja | February 12, 2009 9:17 PM

When is Obama going to learn to STOP reaching out to Republicans. All they do is stab him in the back.

Posted by: maritza1 | February 12, 2009 9:03 PM

yeah, no hard feelings, right. well done, Rahm. three strikes and you are out--as a vetter? please learn to shoot straight.

Posted by: axolotl | February 12, 2009 8:56 PM

I say pick Joe Nye from Harvard

Posted by: dudh | February 12, 2009 8:53 PM


.that some people have not become little Julio Oseguedas fawning..slobbering over this person..!!!

Posted by: awithoff | February 12, 2009 8:49 PM

Give our President credit for trying to hire the best and brightest. Give Gregg credit for not saving his ideology for when he is important in his job.

You'd rather have some sleazebags like Joe Wilson or Scott McLellan who pretended to be in the Administration, then struck when the time was right?

The rule in an Administration is that the guy who got elected gets to set the direction. Both Obama and Gregg deserve kudos for honestly recognizing that.

Posted by: tommariner | February 12, 2009 8:47 PM

Arlen Specter for Commerce Secretary!

Posted by: MarisaSF | February 12, 2009 8:45 PM

Apparently Gregg once voted to do away with the Commerce Dept. Could this be an attempt to kill it by other means?

Posted by: FadingFast | February 12, 2009 8:43 PM

said obama, "great job rahmie!"..

Posted by: w04equals666 | February 12, 2009 8:32 PM

Serves Obama right for thinking that it is possible to work with conservative Republicans. They are a bunch of vicious bullies who eagerly seek out confrontation at every opportunity. So oblige them, Mr. President. The American people chose YOU.

Posted by: lydgate | February 12, 2009 8:26 PM

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