Sunday, January 25, 2009

at the pleasure of the president

At a 2005 roast for Mr. Emanuel, who is a former ballet dancer, ... Mr. Obama credited him with being “the first to adopt Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ for dance” (a number that included “a lot of kicks below the waist”). When Mr. Emanuel lost part of his middle finger while cutting meat at an Arby’s as a teenager, Mr. Obama joked, the accident “rendered him practically mute.”

Cited in Obama’s Partisan, Profane Confidant Reins It In in this morning's New York Times.

Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff strikes me as pure Chicago. Smooth talking buttoned up Boss with the knuckle cracking henchman standing behind him. The Enforcer.

Hopefully not a Cheney to Mr. Obama's Bush, but there's no denying a certain political similarity: the President positioning someone else to be the tough guy. Someone else to dispense the blows.

I was charmed by Rahm Emanuel when I saw him in a Charlie Rose clip that @karigee posted a long long time ago. He's smart, he's shrewd, he's cute.

But I grew alarmed when Sara over at Shady Acres pointed out his father's deep Zionist sympathies. It's hard to imagine that Emanuel can be an impartial adviser regarding the conflicts that rock Gaza and Jerusalem.

Time will tell.

Update: Martin located the clip from the roast, which follows below.

1 comment:

mrtn said...

Well, never mind the father. The son has clearly stated his own support for Israel, which looks like it includes support for the occupation policy. He's been a civilian volunteer for the Israeli Defence Force. Reuters quotes an Israeli politician, saying "He's our man in Washington". I'm concerned. I hope he's a serious politician who opposes occupation, but so far I haven't seen anything that looks like it.

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