He isn’t viewed within political circles as the cuddly type. Sharp tongued, sharp eyed, pointy-headed, Rahm Emanuel moves about Washington more like a gale, less like a zephyr. He doesn’t do gently.
His attitude, described by political insiders as “profane” to “effective”, has yet again brought an unlikeable view of the President’s Chief of Staff to the forefront, like dross to the surface. From his “f—ing retard” comment made last month to the recent Eric Massa allegations that Rahm is the “son of the devil’s spawn”, Emanuel apparently isn’t the beloved quarterback viewed from the opposition or his own teammates. In short, no one seems to like him, not even himself.
Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune in November 2006:
He knew he was despised. “Look, this is not for the fainthearted,” Emanuel said. “Their job is important to them, and I am seen as a threat to their job security. And that’s life. And I didn’t come here to win a popularity contest with them.” He added, “I wake up some mornings hating me too.”
The self-diagnosed irksomeness of his character had once been a threat to the opposition, a Chicago political operative with a Chicago way, a magician with a rabbit or a revolver always up his sleeve. Now, however, with Obama’s -19 approval index rating, the White House needs a face less like Rahm, more like Kathy Lee.
Currently, Obama’s most beloved child, a move to remake, redesign, restructure America’s health care system, has the majority of Americans – 55% – who would rather shred the bill and start all over.
Yet the Washington engine is full speed ahead, ramming through a government take over and leaving a thick layer of soot on private health insurance providers. To accomplish this, Emanuel has become the vise, whether self-appointed or Obama-appointed, to squeeze votes and orange juice from a lemon.
In the end, if America gets a health care bill they detest and Democrats find their political futures hollowed out like an internal infestation of termites, Emanuel won’t be the only one waking up in the morning hating him.