Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gangster of the Week: Rahm Emanuel

I've begun a weekly column pointing out politicians, activists, journalists, staffers, businessmen, or anyone I see fit to be SYNJK's Gangster of the Week. I know I've been given the gangsters (Carville, Obama, Colbert, Cuban, etc.) their due, but this will formalize it. For the inaugural GotW, I've chosen Rahm "Rahm-bo" Emanual, the ballerina Congressman from Chicago who brought the Dems back from the brink of existence in 2006.

I was first introduced to Emanuel by this great profile piece in The Rolling Stone. His gangster status is well documented. While working in the White House, he mailed a dead fish to a pollster he didn't like. Ari Gold from Entourage is based on his brother, Ari Emanuel (In an episode, they are sitting in Ari Emanuel's $2,000 courtside seats). It is rumored that he lost his finger fighting for Israel in Syria, but he actually lost while working at Arby's in high school (I'd stick with the Israel story). My favorite Rahm Emanuel story is how, the night after Clinton's election in '92, he stood up at a celebratory dinner and called out all the Democratic betrayers of Clinton's campaign. After each name he shouted out "Dead...dead...dead...dead..." and stabbed the table with his steak knife after each name. Bad. Ass.

This is the kind of attitude the Democrats need if they are going to remain a force in national politics. His take-no-prisoners attitude is an affront to the notion that Dems are bunch of ninnies and push-overs. He stood up to Clinton and told him that fundraising needed to be his number one priority early in the campaign. Clinton listened and you can make the argument that this won him the nomination (Tsongas, Clinton's chief rival in the primaries, ran out of money cause he had to try to outspend Clinton). His strategic thinking and unbelievable fundraising power provided a net gain of 30 seats in the House when he was the DCCC chair.

He accomplishes the tasks before him, no compromises. He is angry and brash, but that's what this party needs. He's only 48, so he will be a player in Democratic politics for a long time to come. Vice President?

Probably not.


Anonymous said...

here here

Anonymous said...

Unless he uses his powers for good (not) then he's an ass. Why doesn't he use his new powers to impeach Bush & persecute Bush Cheney for War Crimes? Oh I forgot, that would be too divisive.

Anonymous said...

oh yah! That would be fantastic and about time.

Anonymous said...

What this man represents is what's wrong with politics, and makes the case that the only change that Obama is about is Democrats back in the Whitehouse.

Nothing new here. More of the same.

Anonymous said...

There's definitely a mystique surrounding Emanuel and I think he uses that to his advantage. For better or worse he seems to know the value of a memorable persona.

Anonymous said...

read the new yorker's article on rahm. he is a fascinating human being and one to be admired. focus your energy on real problems instead of inventing problems. oh, and grow up.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating human being indeed. Two tax fraudsters slipped through his greasy fin-gahs and Geithner is a monumental failure.

Here's a hint dickheads: If you decide to badmouth Bush's economic policies (smart move) don't hire a chode that voted LOCKSTEP with Greenspan and Bernanke!

PS Central planning never works, no matter which party is in charge.