Rahm on the way out?

posted at 9:30 am on June 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Rahm Emanuel may leave the Obama administration by the end of the year, according to the London Telegraph’s Alex Spillius.  His sources tell him that Barack Obama’s powerful chief of staff has grown weary dealing with ideologues and wants to get out of the fire for a while to reconnect to his family.  Spillius also says that the White House may be pleased to see him go when the time comes:

It is well known in Washington that arguments have developed between pragmatic Mr Emanuel, a veteran in Congress where he was known for driving through compromises, and the idealistic inner circle who followed Mr Obama to the White House.

His abrasive style has rubbed some people the wrong way, while there has been frustration among Mr Obama’s closest advisers that he failed to deliver a smooth ride for the president’s legislative that his background promised.

“It might not be his fault, but the perception is there,” said the consultant, who asked not to be named. “Every vote has been tough, from health care to energy to financial reform.

“Democrats have not stood behind the president in the way Republicans did for George W Bush, and that was meant to be Rahm’s job.”

There were sharp differences over health care reform, with Mr Emanuel arguing that public hostility about cost should have forced them into producing a scaled down package. Mr Obama and advisers including David Axelrod, the chief strategist, and Valerie Jarrett, a businesswoman and mentor from Chicago, decided to push through with grander legislation anyway.

An exit by Emanuel would not come as a complete shock.  Chiefs of staff do not necessarily last for entire terms anyway, and they become expendable after major political defeats.  Bill Clinton had four in his two terms, with Mack McClarty hitting the exits after Clinton’s disastrous first midterm election in favor of the more politically adept Leon Panetta.

Still, Emanuel is the one man in the inner circle who understood how to get things done in Washington.  Axelrod and Jarrett are Chicago pols and outsiders to the Beltway.  That outsider status helps Presidents sell their agenda to the people, but it doesn’t help the White House sell it on Capitol Hill.  While Obama won the ObamaCare fight despite Emanuel’s advice (a fact that Emanuel appears to be leaking copiously all over Washington), the battles have damaged Obama’s ability to move on any other issue in the weeks since.  Thanks to a nationwide revulsion at the massive spending agenda the ObamaCare bill represents, Obama can’t even get a jobs bill through Congress now, let alone his cap-and-trade priority.

The Telegraph says that this will be another sign of how troubled the Obama presidency has become.  Perhaps, although that may depend more on who replaces Emanuel when (and if) he leaves rather than the departure itself.  The big sign of Obama’s troubles will be the midterms.  If it’s the realignment most expect now, Emanuel would have left anyway.   The question of who replaces him will set the tone for the rest of Obama’s presidency.  If he selects someone with more subtlety and diplomacy with both parties on Capitol Hill, then Obama may attempt to move back towards the center in a Clintonian fashion.  If he picks another ideologue, expect the Obama presidency to run completely off the rails in its final two years.

Update: Moe Lane notes that the White House had a denial out early this morning, but that’s not too surprising, either.  That kind of personnel move only gets announced when it happens, and denied right up until the moment before.


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Lord Help Us, isn’t she the one they wanted to get Obama’s vacated Senate Seat?

Dr Evil on June 21, 2010 at 11:16 AM

probably.

runner on June 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

“Democrats have not stood behind the president in the way Republicans did for George W Bush, and that was meant to be Rahm’s job.”

Anyone else get a laugh out of that statement?

tom on June 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM

“I told you I’d be back!”

-Chief of Staff Van Jones

Bishop on June 21, 2010 at 9:40 AM

SHIVERS!!!

capejasmine on June 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

That kind of personnel move only gets announced when it happens, and denied right up until the moment before.

Whatever happened to “no comment” instead of lying?

Daggett on June 21, 2010 at 11:28 AM

I hope he repents by going back to Israel for more military service .

borntoraisehogs on June 21, 2010 at 11:28 AM

tom on June 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM

I’m pretty much getting a laugh out of the whole thing. All of it.

ORconservative on June 21, 2010 at 11:28 AM

It’s pretty bad when the only thing resembling a reasonable guy in the obama administration is the likes of a rahm.

paul1149 on June 21, 2010 at 11:29 AM

“Democrats have not stood behind the president in the way Republicans did for George W Bush, and that was meant to be Rahm’s job.”

Translated: “This is Bush’s fault too!”

Del Dolemonte on June 21, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Appreciate your thoughts!

Oopsdaisy on June 21, 2010 at 10:58 AM

As I do yours.

novaculus on June 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM

borntoraisehogs on June 21, 2010 at 11:28 AM

The Runt’s Israel/”military service” is a joke. Check it out.

MayorDaley on June 21, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Obama may attempt to move back towards the center in a Clintonian fashion.

This frightens me. “Obama the centrist” will only be a facade, of course, but many will be fooled by it. If the GOP doesn’t put up an impressive candidate, we’re in trouble.

A second-term Obama presidency is a terrifying thought.

Grace_is_sufficient on June 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

A legitimate concern, but I doubt it will be a problem.

Par for the course for Obama.

If you lose an election, fire the guy whose advice you rejected.

I think all the fear about winning a majority making Republicans vulnerable to an Obama comeback like Clinton are wrong. Obama will just get even more radical in response to rejection at the polls.

Sackett on June 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM

And that’s exactly why I doubt Obama will move to the center. Rahm was probably more centrist than anyone else in the Obama inner circle, so they’re probably moving further to the left, if anything.

tom on June 21, 2010 at 11:55 AM

And that’s exactly why I doubt Obama will move to the center. Rahm was probably more centrist than anyone else in the Obama inner circle, so they’re probably moving further to the left, if anything.

tom on June 21, 2010 at 11:55 AM

So true. he came from clinton, who was in no way a leftist since he was from AR. you can’t veer to far to the left and win in AR. look at halter and look what is going to happen to lincoln since she voted for the leftist hc bill. she is going to get shellacked

ConservativePartyNow on June 21, 2010 at 12:08 PM

This Admin. ALWAYS manages to do worse and worse and I expect nothing less from the outcome of this.

Yakko77 on June 21, 2010 at 12:14 PM

My bet is that losing big in November will lead him to double down defiantly on his radicalism. The grand vision he has is not for the country, but for himself. I expect him to use executive powers to circumvent Congress and be as ‘transformational’ (destructive) as possible in the time he has left.

petefrt on June 21, 2010 at 12:28 PM

I really don’t think Obama is humble enough to “triangulate” a la Clinton post ‘94 elections. He is wayyyyy too arrogant to compromise on anything.

For all his faults, Clinton was and is a brilliant politician, and after the thrumping he got in the ’94 midterms it became all about “the legacy” – in other words, get elected to a second term whatever the cost. If that meant moving to the center, so be it. If that meant ending “welfare as we know it”, oh well. If that meant balancing the budget when his every instinct as a liberal was to spend spend spend, well you can’t make an omlet without breaking a few eggs. Everything in those last two years of Clinton’s first term and his second term was calculated to bring him the maximum positive poll results. He wanted to leave the office as a popular President. Amazingly, even impeachment seemed to help him in that manner.

Giggles isn’t half the politician that Clinton is. He’s an idealogue, and a clumsy one at that. Whereas Clinton could strategize and sacrifice in order to insure his popularity, Giggles flails around like a bull in a china shop. Giggles will NOT move to the center. He’ll become even more liberal after these midterms, and I would expect he appoints a like-minded idealogue to replace Rahm. Like others have said on this thread, I wouldn’t be surprised if the thrashing he’s going to get this year doesn’t trigger a full-scale meltdown.

crazy_legs on June 21, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Like others have said on this thread, I wouldn’t be surprised if the thrashing he’s going to get this year doesn’t trigger a full-scale meltdown.

crazy_legs on June 21, 2010 at 12:46 PM

That would make for good theater, but without a strong Congress to blunt him, it will be disaster frosting on our misery cake.

Extrafishy on June 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM

I would expect he appoints a like-minded idealogue to replace Rahm.

crazy_legs on June 21, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Yup, Hugo Chavez would be a likely choice, if he were available.

petefrt on June 21, 2010 at 1:06 PM

While Rahmm was a model of anything bout retsraint in his style, on the sustance he was/is far more rseeserved, or realistic if you will, about the limits of what could be accomplished. With his exit the demeanor of presentation will tone down a bit, even border on smarmy, but the overeach of ambition and zealous ideology as the administration withdraws deeper into a warm caccoon of a likeminded echo chamber.

Not that this will play out in public view, as you may have noticed Rahmm is probably the least publicly avavilable Cheif of Staff in memory. On-air damage control usually falls to Val or Axle, while relations with legislators has been Rahmmm’s job. Watch for the Dhimmy coalition on the hill to become even more frayed as the White House and its partners in the progressive caucus become even further detached from reality. While Rahmm is a hardnosed Chicago Pol, he is not a ‘true-beleiver’ in the cult of Obama, his departure will signal a strident adherence to a radical odeology.

It may also point to the train careening off the rails on the Obama agenda, the isolation in leftist purity will only become more pronounced as the only truly competent player exits the feild of play. Rahmm is no stranger to sharp elbows and can play that game with best. If he is allowing himself to be pushed out it is because he recognizes a sinking ship.

While we can take some solace that the USS Obama is taking on water fast, it is not cause for comfort. The leftist agenda will only become more apparent and pronounced, that it does so amidst the desperation of a sinking ship only makes it more daqngerous. Perversely, our peril will increase with each broadside we land on the hull of colllectivism. As we near her gunwales and attempt to board the ‘White House’ in 2012, she will call up the dogs of war (SEIU,AFSCME, AFL/CIO, NEA) to repel such an effort with even greater vigor then we have seen thus far.

The MO of the unions is, and always has been, one of intimidation and violence. Realize that as we attempt to assume the helm of our ship of state, it will take place in a catagoery 5 storm in gale-force winds of leftist zombies ‘bittterly clinging’ on to the reins of power. As we near our goal of purging the weight of Gov’t that threatens to sink us, the task will become more difficult not less, each wave we crest leads only to a deeper trough on the other side.

Brace yoursevles for Van Jones’ STORM on the horizon and gird your loins. “For these are the times that try men’s souls“-G. Washinton.

Archimedes on June 21, 2010 at 1:11 PM

If he picks another ideologue, expect the Obama presidency to run completely off the rails in its final two years

from your mouth to God’s ears.

katiejane on June 21, 2010 at 1:43 PM

DRUDGE: Rahm Traded Favors with Blago: Report

Heh.

petefrt on June 21, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Maybe he’ll do a little ballet dance out the door…

Travis1 on June 21, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Et TuTu Emanuel?

chickasaw42 on June 21, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Has anyone seen Valerie Jarrett’s handprints lately? If they are on Emanuel, how close are they to Axelrod? If I was him, I would be watching my back.

bbh on June 22, 2010 at 12:56 AM

What is everyone so frightened of really? Obama is a facade and he always has been. He looks great on unpublished paper, and he reads well off of his teleprompters.

Who cares where he moves? His agenda has been resoundingly rejected and all of his policies have proved to be financially ruinous to our country. There is no free Obama money, nor is there any Obama good time. Geez, not even for union members across the board.

Let’s man up a bit and stop whining about what he is doing to us. For now he has the Congress and the Senate and he has two and one half years as President. Regardless of party affiliation – what are you willing to do to stop our taxes from changing hands from a Chicago type syndicate?

Obama may attempt to move back towards the center in a Clintonian fashion.
This frightens me. “Obama the centrist” will only be a facade, of course, but many will be fooled by it. If the GOP doesn’t put up an impressive candidate, we’re in trouble.

A second-term Obama presidency is a terrifying thought.

Grace_is_sufficient on June 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

bbh on June 22, 2010 at 1:17 AM

What is everyone so frightened of really? Obama is a facade and he always has been. He looks great on unpublished paper, and he reads well off of his teleprompters.

Who cares where he moves? His agenda has been resoundingly rejected and all of his policies have proved to be financially ruinous. There is no free Obama money, nor is there any Obama good time. Geez, not even for union members across the board.

Let’s man up a bit and stop whining about what he is doing to us. For now he has the Congress and the Senate and he has two and one half years as President. Regardless of party affiliation – what are you willing to do to stop our taxes from changing hands from a Chicago type syndicate?

bbh on June 22, 2010 at 1:25 AM

Comment pages: 1 2