Monday, September 27, 2010

Color him Rahm?

Rahm Emanuel...

According to ABC News, “White House officials are preparing for Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to announce on Friday -- as Congress adjourns for recess -- that he is leaving his post to explore a run for mayor of Chicago.

This comes as no surprise and rumors regarding Emanuel’s desire to be Boss Chicago have been floating for months. “Longtime Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's announcement earlier this month that he would not seek reelection created the opportunity that Emanuel has long been seeking,” the ABC report adds.

As the report points out, there is a great deal of wonder if this is more than typical mid-term burnout – perhaps “a larger shakeup?”

Emanuel's departure is just of many departures the White House has faced recently, including many from the president's economic team. Last week the White House announced that National Economic Council director Larry Summers is expected to leave the administration after the mid-term elections. Earlier this month Christina Romer resigned as the chairwoman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors. And Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orzsag resigned over the summer as well,” ABC reports. (Anita Dunn, the first communications director, and Desiree Rogers, the social secretary, also resigned.)

Just the latest...

Again, it’s not unusual for administration employees to leave after a year or two – whether it’s to start collecting as lobbyists or members of corporate boards, or because they’re just plain fatigued – but it was atypical to have seen such a large segment (the economic team) leave within months of each other. Of course, these are tough times for the economy and there is a sense the president needs fresh eyes on the game.

If you listen to responses from the White House, Team Obama has been making every effort to convince the media – and voters – that there’s any meaning to all of these departures. The timing is purely coincidental, right?

"I think there's no doubt that there will be people that return to their lives and their families," White House Press Sec. Robert Gibbs told ABC, saying the current raft of resignations was the typical kind of turnover that occurs within presidential administrations. "But we've got a while before that. We've got at least two months before this election -- or about two months before this election before we get to a lot of those decisions."

But back to Emanuel.

According to Emanuel’s hometown paper, The Chicago Tribune, the foul-mouthed, aggressive “former veteran Democratic strategist and fundraiser who served three terms in the U.S. House after helping elect Mayor Richard Daley and former President Bill Clinton, made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint [on the board] at Freddie Mac that required little effort.” (This is the same Freddie Mac whose “portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis” and helped drag down the economy.) “The Freddie Mac money was a small piece of the $16 million he made in a three-year interlude as an investment banker a decade ago,” the paper adds.

There’s little doubt that Emanuel, like his fellow departed are poised to clean up – again.

Orzsag, Romer and Summers will soon be cleaning up on the lecture circuit, with book deals, at think tanks and in academia (again). Emanuel, however, will outdo them all – exceeding the absolute power (in some ways) that his soon-to-be ex-boss is able to wield.

Soon, El Rahm will be the Head Honcho of Chicagoland: the Duchy of Daley; the Kingdom of Capone; and now the Empire of Emanuel.

To the victorthe lucky escapee – go the spoils.

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