The great uniter has apparently asked this guy to be his chief of staff -- ie, his presidential gatekeeper, one of the most powerful people in his inner circle.

That night, on the northwest side, Rahm Emanuel was elected to Congress. A former Clinton whiz kid who'd gotten his start as a fundraiser for Mayor Richard M. Daley, Emanuel was connected -- in the three years after leaving the White House (where he'd helped push through NAFTA), he earned $16 million putting together Wall Street mergers. He was also zealously partisan. He had once owned a consulting business devoted to finding skeletons in Republican closets. At a Clinton victory dinner in Little Rock in 1992, Emanuel celebrated by reciting a hoped-for necrology of Democrats who had "f***ed" the president-elect. After every name, he stabbed a steak knife into a table and screamed, "Dead man!"


When Emanuel took the job [getting more Democrats elected to Cognress], he never expected to win, but he knew a president's party usually loses seats in the sixth year of his term, and he figured if he could pick up 10 or 12, he'd be rewarded with a leadership position, a step toward his goal of becoming speaker of the House. (He is now chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking post in the House.) If he makes it, C-SPAN may have to institute a seven-second delay. On Election Night, 10 minutes after CNN called the House for the Democrats, Emanuel climbed up on a table in DCCC headquarters and addressed his cheering, victory-starved staff, celebrating the party's biggest win since 1992. He wanted to wrap up the campaign with a message for the Republicans.

"Since my kids are gone, I can say it," he shouted. "They can go f*** themselves!"

"Change has come to America..."

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on November 6, 2008 2:18 PM.

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