Archive for the ‘Chief of Staff’ Category

Rahm Emanuel Pick Indicates “Obama is No More Mr. Nice Guy”

November 6, 2008

Barack Obama is signaling a shift in tactics and temperament as he moves from candidate to president-elect, picking sharp-elbowed Washington insiders for top posts.

His choice Thursday for White House chief of staffRahm Emanuel, a fiery partisan who doesn’t mind breaking glass and hurting feelings — is a significant departure from the soft-spoken, low-key aides that “No-Drama Obama” has surrounded himself with during his campaign. And transition chief John Podesta, like Emanuel, is a former top aide to Bill Clinton and a tough partisan infighter, though less bombastic than the new chief of staff.

By LIZ SIDOTI and NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

The selections are telling for Obama, who campaigned as a nontraditional, almost “post-partisan” newcomer. People close to him say the selections show that Obama is aware of his weaknesses as well as his strengths and knows what he needs to be successful as he shifts from campaigning to governing.

“No one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel,” Obama said in a statement announcing the selection.

Obama, who survived a long contest with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, also has made it clear he will rely heavily on veterans of her husband’s eight-year administration, the only Democratic presidency in the past 28 years. Podesta was President Clinton‘s chief of staff, and several other former Clinton aides are on Obama’s short lists for key jobs, Democratic officials say. Some of them helped write a large briefing book on how to govern, assembled under Podesta’s supervision.

Obama himself brims with self-confidence, to the point that some people view him as arrogant. But to a greater degree than many presidents, he appears willing to lean on Washington insiders associated with other politicians.

Still, he is also certain to bring to the White House a cadre of longtime aides.

Emanuel accepted Obama’s offer with a gesture of bipartisanship, addressing part of his statement to Republicans. “We often disagree, but I respect their motives,” Emanuel said. “Now is a time for unity, and, Mr. President-elect, I will do everything in my power to help you stitch together the frayed fabric of our politics, and help summon Americans of both parties to unite in common purpose.”

That would come as news to some Republicans.

In contrast to Obama’s collegial style and that of his top campaign advisers, Emanuel is known as a foul-mouthed practitioner of brass-knuckled politics who relishes both conflict and publicity. He once mailed a dead fish to a political foe.

But he also earned a reputation for pragmatic efficiency, whether the goal was winning House elections for Democrats or working with Republicans to enact Clinton’s centrist political agenda.

“Rahm knows Capitol Hill and has great political skills,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “He can be a tough partisan but also understands the need to work together.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081106/ap_on_el_pr/obama;_
ylt=Ai_QF7iBJ4B4Y4lCCNEnNcqs0NUE

Obama Offers Rahm Emanuel Job of White House Chief of Staff

November 5, 2008

ABC News has learned that President-elect Obama has offered the White House chief of staff job to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.

Emanuel, a knowledgeable source tells ABC News, has not yet given his answer. The sharp-tongued, sharp-elbowed, keenly intelligent veteran of the Clinton White House is said to have ambitions to some day be Speaker of the House. But he also has a keen sense of “duty.”

In this June 6, 2008, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., ...
In this June 6, 2008, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., left, huddles with then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. in Chicago. President-elect Barack Obama chose Emanual to be his White House chief of staff, his first selection for the new administration, Democratic officials said Wednesday.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Today on “Good Morning America” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos reported Obama likes the fact that Emanuel “knows policy, knows politics, knows Capitol Hill” and has told associates that Emanuel would “have his back.”

There is a tentative plan to announce Obama’s chief of staff this week.

By Jake Tapper, ABC News

Obama approaches lawmaker about White House Chief of Staff post

October 31, 2008

Talk about measuring the White House drapes before the election….word comes that Barack Obama has already “approached” someone to be his White House Chief of Staff…

By DAVID ESPO and BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama‘s campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday as the marathon presidential race entered its final, frenzied stretch with a Democratic tilt.

In this  June 6, 2008,, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., ... 
In this June 6, 2008,, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., left, talks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., at a Chicago 2016 Olympic rally at Daley Center Plaza in Chicago. Obama’s campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The disclosure came as Republican John McCain, in need of a comeback, focused on pocketbook issues amid fresh signs of a recession. “Ohio is hurting now, people in Ohio are having trouble staying in their homes, keeping their jobs,” he said as he set out on a two-day bus tour of the state.

“We have got to get this economy out of the ditch.”

Obama, bidding to become the first black president, also pointed to the government’s report that the economy had declined in the third quarter. He told a large crowd in Florida that McCain has been perched “right next to George Bush” for eight years, and consumers are paying a steep price for their partnership.

The Democrats who described the Obama campaign‘s approach to Emanuel spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to be quoted by name. An aide to the congressman, Sarah Feinberg, said in an e-mail that he “has not been contacted to take a job in an administration that does not yet exist. Everyone is focused on Election Day, as they should be.”

Asked about Emanuel after touching down in Colombia, Mo., on Thursday night, Obama said only: “I’m trying to win an election.” Then, referring to campaign manager David Plouffe, he said: “Plouffe is my chief of staff.”

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton earlier had said: “There’s no news because there’s no job to offer.”

Emanuel is a veteran of President Clinton’s White House, and has made a rapid ascent of the House leadership ladder since his election to Congress. He was chairman of the Democratic campaign committee two years ago when the party won a majority for the first time in more than a decade, and he cemented his reputation as a prodigious fundraiser and strong-willed political strategist.

Both Obama and McCain have authorized their staffs to begin transition operations in recent weeks — although only one of them will be able to make use of the results. As far as is known, no job offers have been made by either man.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081031/ap_on_el_pr
/campaign_rdp;_ylt=AqAbVesZNtrcP3cfsqQFECas0NUE

Pakistan opposition protests rule change

September 19, 2007

By SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press Writer

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – An opposition party challenged a rule change favoring the re-election of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in court Wednesday, while a top foreign envoy arrived to quiz the military leader on Pakistan‘s turbulent politics.

Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon’s visit comes a day after officials said Musharraf would quit as army chief if lawmakers give him another five-year term in a vote due within weeks.
Photo
Courtesy Pakistani government: President General
Musharraf (left) meets with his Prime Minister.

The government hailed the announcement as a watershed for Pakistani democracy. But Musharraf’s political foes, who are pressing for faster reform, quickly rejected it as illegal.

Read the rest at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070919/ap_on_re_as/pakistan_politics;_
ylt=AhvUEsxkOyJTBl7_gjayjPOs0NUE