November 08, 2008

Rahm Emanuel

Who is Rahm Emanuel and how did he hook up with Obama?

Rahm Emanuel, Pitbull Politician is a great 2006 Fortune article that profiled Emanuel's personality and career. The centrist ex-Clinton-fundraiser, Iraq war supporter, and friend of Lieberman is not popular among the liberal-left MoveOn DailyKos crowd. He is a political street fighter, not an idealist, and he is well-known for battling against Dean's gauzy "50 state" strategy. Instead Emanuel publicly bullied Dean into directing precious 2006 DNC funds into 40 targeted congressional races.

Democrats won 30 of those races and took control of Congress. Now the abrasive, aggressive Emanuel has a lot of political capital he can call in. In fact, early in this presidential campaign, many Democrats were fearful of supporting Obama because Emanuel had declared support for Clinton in 2006. When Emanuel famously pivoted and withheld an endorsement for either Hillary or Barack in January 2007 ("I'm hiding under the desk," he said, "I'm very far under the desk, and I'm bringing my paper and my phone."), he helped open up Obama's path to the nomination.

Emanuel is a powerful teammate for Obama: Emanuel and Obama deserve credit for the Democratic congressional gains in 2006 and 2008 - perhaps a hundred representatives and senators owe their jobs to this pair. Together, they command a tremendous amount of legislative power.

Posted by David at November 8, 2008 09:34 AM
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