Does Rahm Emanuel feel ignored?
I know every president has to deal with stories about how his predicament wouldn't be so bad if he'd just listened to [fill in omniscient White House staffer here]. But does anyone else get that squirmy uncomfortable feeling about the Rahm-is-God stories that have run in The Post about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel? The pieces brim with frustration on behalf of the man tasked with guiding President Obama's agenda. Which makes me wonder why that man continues to hang around.
Dana Milbank got the ball rolling last month when he wrote, "Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter." Then came this from today's profile by Jason Horowitz, who writes that a new view of Emanuel is taking hold that is contrary to his rough-and-tumble image: "Emanuel is a force of political reason within the White House and could have helped the administration avoid its current bind if the president had heeded his advice on some of the most sensitive subjects of the year: health-care reform, jobs and trying alleged terrorists in civilian courts."
Let me point out that both reporters note that Emanuel did not talk to them about their pieces. Still, this can't be going over well in the West Wing, particularly in the Oval Office. Emanuel was ambivalent about taking the job. And it's unclear whether his job is really in any danger. But Milbank posed a relevant query during a Feb. 22 online Q&A about his column. "A better question is why [Emanuel would] want to stay on the job if his advice isn't being followed." That's a question President Obama ought to put to Emanuel. And what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall to hear the answer.
| March 2, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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