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Emanuel gets dead fish as going-away present

On what is reportedly Rahm Emanuel's last day as White House chief of staff, the Council of Economic Advisers presented him with their going-away gift.

"This is a dead fish!" Emanuel said, according to ABC's Jake Tapper. Austan Goolsbee, President Obama's recently installed Office of Management and Budget chief, presented Emanuel with the gift saying, "I talked to the policy team and we wanted to give you a going-away present -- something to show how we feel about you but also shows we understand your new possibilities. I was the natural go between -- I voted for you all three times you ran for Congress and even in that first primary. So here is your present."

The dead fish is a wink and a nod to Emanuel's intimidating management style. As The Post's Howard Kurtz put it in his analysis of the media's response to Rahm's rumored departure, "With Rahm ensconced at Obama's side, no one wanted to cross him, at least in the press. They might get a dead fish in the mail or something."

After Rahm opened the gift, Goolsbee said, "To most people, it looks like a dead fish. But to a future mayor of Chicago, it looks like a dead Asian Carp. And you'll be happy to know that it wasn't easy to find one of these." Gibbs also weighed in saying, "In Chicago, this is how friends say goodbye."

Rahm reportedly was teary-eyed as he said his goodbyes, insisting that while he knew he pushed staffers "very hard," it was "in service to the president. And I believe that our whole country is better off for it."

(via ABC)

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By Emi Kolawole  | October 1, 2010; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  | Tags:  Rahm Emanuel, White House  
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lindalovejones, the dead fish is a reference to an apocryphal story where a much younger Rahm sent a dead fish to a pollster he didn't like. It supposedly happened around 15 to 20 years ago, if I remember the story right.

Posted by: dkp01 | October 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

A dead fish sure doesn't say "I love you".

Apparently, Rahm was NOT well liked, although I think he's extreemly handsome.

Posted by: lindalovejones | October 1, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

A Dead but formerly living Fish?

DemocRats, what's PETA going to say about this?

Posted by: theaz | October 1, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Hail RAHM!

You and the outrageous policies and legislation you encouraged have done the unthinkable, our would that better be described as the incalculable?

As a direct result of your actions, 150+ Million Americans, myself included, have awakened to the sounds of the destruction of our country. Just think, because of you, we've joined together in the TEA party movement, and we're determined to quash any further attempts to convert our country into a Socialist State.

We will NEVER be able to thank you enough!

Posted by: tkreiner | October 1, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow... I didn't know the Libs had it in 'em to take a life. Can I bring up Capital Punishment yet? Too soon? Well, I hope whoever killed the fish gets properly reformed.

Posted by: mexisotan | October 1, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Rahm "Dead Fish" or "Dead Asian Carp" Emanuel may well be the next Chicago mayor, wielding his abusive managerial style in a city where abuse from mayors was made into an art form.
I am sure it will not change much of anything in Chicago or its climate of corruption. Maybe a few more dead people (or dead fish) may vote in future elections but it will continue as it is and was and will be.

Posted by: SouthernPatriot | October 1, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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