Friday, October 31, 2008

And the battle for Obama's soul politcal capital begins...

Update: Obama's response:

COLUMBIA, MO--Barack Obama was asked Thursday night about an AP report that Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) has been approached to be a chief of staff in an Obama White House.

On the tarmac after landing, Washington Times reporter Christina Bellantoni asked Obama about a possible Emanuel appointment.

"I'm trying to win an election..." Obama said.

Is that a no?

"Plouffe is my chief of staff," Obama said, a reference to his campaign chief of staff, David Plouffe.

And I changed the title to reflect what was a sarcasm fail. Soul... Halloween...

Barack Obama's campaign has approached Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel about possibly serving as White House chief of staff, officials said Thursday, looking ahead as the marathon presidential race entered its final, frenzied stretch with a Democratic tilt.
That's Rahm "At the right time we will have a position on the war" Emanuel, the only two time recipient of the Train of Thought's Joe Buck Disgusting Act of the Week award. This is days after a Wall Street Journal article that discusses how the two main factions within the democratic party are vying for favor with Obama, hoping that their priorities will be at the top of his political agenda:
Democratic leaders, aides and Obama advisers say such conversations remain friendly. But some tension exists in an eclectic circle that includes Wall Streeters, labor leaders and liberal think-tank denizens.

Sen. Obama's economic brain trust dialed in two weeks ago to a conference call with the candidate to discuss how the Wall Street bailout was working when a split emerged over how hard the government should lean on the banks. Some advisers said it would be politically and economically disastrous if the billions of taxpayer dollars injected into ailing financial institutions just sat in vaults. Robert Rubin, who served as President Bill Clinton's Treasury secretary between stints on Wall Street, pushed back. Leaving the money in the banks would help stabilize them and prevent further turmoil in the credit markets, even if the money wasn't loaned out, the Citigroup Inc. executive said.


Rep. Rangel argues that a President Obama would face a narrow window after the election to move on those big items, as well as his tax plan. That would raise the top two income-tax rates, raise capital-gains and dividend tax rates on upper-income families, and cut taxes on the middle class. Democrats need to have faith that a strong showing in the election indicates broad political backing, Rep. Rangel said. They should be emboldened by the $700 billion Wall Street bailout that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson secured. And he doesn't want to hear talk of containing the deficit.

"For God's sake," he said, "don't ask me where the money will come from. I'm going to the same place Paulson went."

A second faction of more-conservative Democrats is focusing on fiscal discipline. With this fiscal year's deficit potentially approaching $1 trillion, these Democrats say the money for Sen. Obama's ambitious agenda simply isn't there. One of the first acts of the next Congress should be approving a bipartisan commission to tackle the deficit and the growth of entitlements, such as Medicare and Medicaid, argue the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, who say they will have the numbers to make the demands.

Earlier this month, Sen. Obama called three prominent Blue Dogs, including Rep. Ross, to reassure them of his commitment to pay-as-you-go rules, which hold that any spending increases or tax cuts must be offset by equivalent spending cuts or tax increases. He also pledged to meet with the Blue Dog leadership shortly after the election.

Senior Obama advisers say the senator has given no commitments to any of the camps. Without a chief of staff, without a formal policy apparatus to make such decisions, he can only take in the different arguments and await Election Day, they say.
Obama has left the door wide open on his priorities after the election. Ending the Iraq war comes first, but that can be done from the executive branch. What domestic agenda he choses next and more importantly who he chooses to do it with will decide whether were get another new deal or more triangulation.

The battle to stop the bleeding ends on November 4th.

The battle for real change starts on November 5th.


  1. it's pretty clear that there are still a lot of deep wounds remaining from that democratic primary. assuming that Obama wins as is expected, he's going to need to re-unify the Democratic party. now, does that mean reaching out to assholes like Emmanuel is the right thing to do? of course not. but he can't just walk around going "fuck you" to everybody either. let's remember that Obama is not a progressive by definition. while it's still important to rally for progressive causes even after he gets into office, Obama is like 100 billion gazillion times better than the alternative. change won't happen overnight.

  2. @DCJonesy: Yeah, and when you say his still a billion times better, that doesn't just mean McCain. With Hillary Clinton's ties and loyalties, we know who she would have surrounded herself with. Obama really isn't tied to anyone, or any wing, so he can make his choices purely on his own, without having to do all the other bullshit.

    Obama's not a progressive, but he is willing to listen, and that's a hell of a lot better than anything we've had for a long, long time.

  3. Consider the source, it's AP.

  4. What's Rahm Emmanuel's deal? All I know about him is that he has a nasty mouth, which makes me inclined to like him. Could you link to the posts where you blasted him?