So it’s official, Obama has selected Rham Emanuel as his chief of staff. For those who’ve never heard of him Emanueal was a high level staffer in the Clinton administration and current Democratic Representative in Illinois, who has a reputation as an aggressive and ultra savvy political operative. Perhaps a more meaningful contextualizing for a number of folks: he’s the basis for Josh Lyman on the West Wing, and his older brother, Ari, is the basis for Ari Gold on Entourage. Naturally, the Republicans are seeking umbrage, upset that Obama would select a liberal.
“This is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center,” Minority Leader John Boehner tells Congress Daily.
Whatever offense Republicans might take from a Democrat not appointing a Republican as his chief of staff, this should, I think, be viewed pretty positively by progressives. Emanuel — while known his political realism — is more widely known for simply getting things done and as Chief of Staff, will be more involved in greasing the wheels than choosing the car.
Oh yeah, plus he’s a bona fide Jew.