Everybody used to love Rahm Emanuel, the nine-and-a-half fingered dancing star, because he said “fuck” a lot and was considered, if not “Washington hot,” at least “hypertensive rage-filled arrogant monster hot.” But a year after the president’s chief of staff jetéd into office, everybody hates him, except for Dana Milbank, which is honestly not much better than being universally despised.
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.
Obama chose the profane former Clinton adviser for a reason. Where the president is airy and idealistic, Rahm is earthy and calculating. One thinks big; the other, a former House Democratic Caucus chair, understands the congressional mind, in which small stuff counts for more than broad strokes.
So the next time you look around and wonder why we don’t have any Iranian hostage crisis on our hands, it’s RAHM and YOU’RE WELCOME.
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