Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ok... this is getting silly

Ok, a little background first.
1. According to Slate the idea for Congressman Santos's character on the West Wing came from a series of conversations that West Wing had with David Axelrod about Barak Obama. Barak Obama has gone on to win the election in a very Santos-like fashion
2. Some sources say that the character of Josh Lyman was modeled on the very real life Rahm Emanuel

We now learn that Rahm Emanuel has been picked to be Obama's chief of staff (for those television trivia nuts Rahm's brother Ari was the model for the Entourage character of the same name), WTF?????? This is life imitates art going nuts (if Maggie Williams becomes Michelle Obama's chief of staff and marries Mr Emanuel I will hide under a desk)!

I'm actually not very glad about this, for why start with this NYT article. Here's what I think.

1. After looking at the profiles around I think you could safely characterize Emanuel as a partisan hack.
2. He is fairly high drama, just look at the press around this announcement as an example compared to "No-drama Obama".
3. The chief of staff is an incredibly important position in the White House, s/he determines who gets access to the President and often gets in the last word in any debate (Cheney being somewhat of an exception in recent years). Maybe Emanuel has changed, maybe Obama will choose other moderate advisers who will counterbalance him. However, having disclaimed myself, I don't think is the pick of someone who genuinely wants to reform. Think of Josh, when he talked about reform and how Washington needs change, he often simply meant Washington needs more democrats. I knew that Obama would have to pick people I don't like, but as someone who supported him for his post-partisan rhetoric, this bothers me.

On the bright side Emanuel is intelligent, experienced, talented, and relentless. With him in the White House, things will get done. Whatever Obama sets as the agenda, it will be a lot more likely to become reality with Rahm as the chief of staff.

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