Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So How Is Rahm Emanuel Doing?

Sounds like any other Chief of Staff in Obama's Chief of Staff Grants Access, Gets Results from The Washington Post:
One admirer is Rep. Peter T. King, a New York Republican who got to know Emanuel during his House days. "There's a consensus among Republicans who can be objective that the president did a good thing in picking Rahm," King said. "He's tough, and he's really not that partisan. He doesn't think he's morally superior to Republicans, and that alone will get you far in this environment."

But then I always thought he was chosen to keep the Democrats in line more than beat up on Republicans.
Emanuel, a former member of the House Budget Committee, saw a way to meet Baucus halfway. Reconciliation instructions could be added but would not take effect until fall, giving Republicans time to show interest in compromise. Also, the language would cover only health care and education. Emanuel concluded that including Obama's cap-and-trade system to combat climate change "was a bridge too far." It would ask too much of vulnerable Democrats, given their fears about creating higher consumer electricity costs.

"We decided we would let the process work, but we wouldn't hold the process hostage" to Republican obstruction, Emanuel said. House leaders had been considering reconciliation and added the instructions to their budget. Before lawmakers left town last week for a spring recess, even Baucus conceded that reconciliation language in the conference report is probably a done deal.

***
Even GOP lawmakers praised the White House attention. "He always takes my calls," said Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), a moderate who is wooed by Democrats on every major bill. She even considered voting for the budget.

When Snowe heard that Obama would visit Turkey at the end of his first overseas trip as president, the Greek American senator called Emanuel to ask that Obama meet with the Greek Orthodox patriarch in Istanbul.


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