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Eye Opener: Rahm Emanuel on '60 Minutes'

By Ed O'Keefe

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Eye Opener

Happy Monday! White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel thinks things in Washington are just fine, thanks.

"Washington can deal with these issues," Emanuel said on Sunday's "60 Minutes." "If you didn't think it could, you wouldn't get out of bed at 5 in the morning to go attack the day. I fundamentally believe America's set up to deal with this," he said.

Pressed by Katie Couric (in the video above) about the growing perception of a broken capital city, Emanuel said: "You can get bipartisanship to get certain things done. Sometimes you will have differences, and that's not a negative. Just because there's politics or principle difference doesn't mean it's a negative. It means we have fundamental, philosophical policy differences. That's what elections are about. That's what governing's about."

Some other tidbits from the interview, many of them well-known to close White House observers:

-- Emanuel works through a to-do list each day and spends three or four minutes with the president at the start of each day. They speak later on during their daily "wrap up," he said.

-- In an effort to spend time with his young children, they join him for his 5:15 a.m. swim at least twice a week. "That's considered family time," Emanuel said.

-- The work schedule is "seven days a week, constant. And even at night, you're never really calm sleeping," he said. "No matter how exhausted, you're not calm. You're never kinda off."

-- During the presidential transition he met with 13 former chiefs of staff. Dick Cheney told him, "Keep your eye on the vice president. Not to be trusted." Donald Rumsfeld told him, "You're not indispensable. Pick your successor early on."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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By Ed O'Keefe  | March 22, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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I think requiring your children to get out of bed at 5:15 AM to help feed your enormous ego and sense of self-importance is abusive. Let's hope the fatigue and high blood pressure quickly combine to force an early retirement. This is not the kind of person who should be close to the levers of power.

Posted by: sheehanjc | March 22, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I agreed with him. I thought the point of what he said is right on...that just because all Republicans are against the Democrats does not mean Washington is broken but Washington is working the way it is supposed to be working with one group opposing another group and the process is working itself out

Someone has to win and lose.

Posted by: Bious | March 22, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"to help feed your enormous ego and sense of self-importance"??

What an odd mind. How do his early mornings with his kids translate into what you posted? I would say it's illogical thinking, but really I don't see any evidence of thinking at all - just partisan sniping.

And Christ knows we need LOTS more of that, eh America?

I'm betting if Emanuel said it's very hard to find time to spend with the kids and hardly sees them you would find a way to whine about that too.

Posted by: lquarton | March 23, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

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