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As a Democratic Party official, he once sent a pollster who was late delivering polling results a dead fish in a box.
Chicago Tribune deputy Washington bureau chief Naftali Bendavid writes that, as about a score of them sat around a picnic table mushily declaring their love for one another, Emanuel picked up a knife and called out the names of different politicians who had "f–––ed us." After each name, Emanuel would cry out, "Dead man!"—and stab the knife into the table.
"Rahm Emanuel has been described as a street fighter with a killer instinct—as explosive, profane, wired and ruthless—sometimes as a compliment, sometimes not. But no one has ever cast him in the role of elder statesman, at least up until now. Emanuel, a 48-year-old congressman who grew up, somewhat weirdly, to study ballet and practice Chicago politics, has generally adapted to his situation in a combative, not diplomatic, manner. As an indifferent high-school student, he badly cut his finger on the beef-slicing machine at Arby's. That night, after his high-school prom, he jumped into Lake Michigan. The tip of his finger became infected and he nearly died. Ever since, Emanuel has relished raising his hacked-off middle figure at his foes. In conversation with almost anyone about anything, Emanuel uses the F word like a sergeant in a World War II motor pool."
But it may be that the most obvious candidate is Emanuel. He is an old friend of Barack Obama's campaign strategist, David Axelrod (so close that Axelrod signed the ketuba, a Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel's wedding, an honor that usually goes to a best friend). At the same time, Emanuel worked on Bill Clinton's '92 campaign and was an effective operative in the Clinton White House, and he is tight with various Clinton advisers like James Carville and former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle (whom he calls his "little sister" from the Chicago political wars). He has the loyalty of many Democratic congressmen, whom he recruited and for whom he prodigiously fund-raised, helping to secure the Democratic majority in the 2006 election.
Emanuel is the son of a Jerusalem-born pediatrician who was a member of the Irgun (Etzel or IZL), a militant Zionist group that operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948.
Originally posted by grover
And if Obama appointed a total outsider with no White House and/or national experience at all you would be criticizing that.
Originally posted by nyk537
I realize he isn't the first to do this, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
Democrats should run on in 2006: universal college education, universal health care for anyone who works, bringing down the national debt and cutting U.S. dependence on foreign oil in half within a decade.
In his own voting record, Emanuel is no Gingrich-style radical. A certified member of the Beltway establishment, and a political centrist to boot, he favors incremental, family-friendly policies in the Clinton mode: tax breaks to help the middle class pay for college, incentives to encourage workers to save for retirement, re-importing drugs to lower prescription costs. He has sharply criticized the president's handling of the war in Iraq, but he doesn't agree with those who say we should pull out immediately, favoring a more gradual withdrawal based on "benchmarks" for training Iraqi troops.
"We're the party of change," Emanuel tells me. "We're the party of a new direction -- a break from rampant cronyism and the status quo. Period."
Obama faced with security problem at outset of transition process
WMR has learned from informed U.S. intelligence sources that prospective Barack Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has an active FBI counter-intelligence file maintained on him. Emanuel's rise to the Chief of Staff position may pose a significant security problem for President-elect Obama if the FBI insists on conducting the full background security investigation normally required for senior White House officials.
Questions about Emanuel's links to the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, were allegedly so great that President Bill Clinton was forced to dismiss Emanuel from the White House staff in 1998. One of the FBI agents who discovered Emanuel's dealings with Israeli intelligence was, according to our sources, the late FBI counter-terrorism Assistant Director John O'Neill. O'Neill retired after being set up in a smear operation involving a temporarily stolen brief case in 2001. O'Neill and another FBI agent who still works for the bureau and shall remain nameless at this point to protect him and his career discovered that Emanuel was heavily involved in the decision to place intern Monica Lewinsky close to President Clinton. O'Neill accepted the top security position for Kroll Associates at the World Trade Center. O'Neill was killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
WMR has also reported that O'Neill was a close friend of slain retired Houston CIA station chief Roland V. "Tony" Carnaby, who was similarly investigating Israeli intelligence operations in the Houston area when Houston police shot and killed him last April.
Emanuel reportedly had knowledge of Israeli intelligence penetration of White House communications systems and Lewinsky, in sworn testimony before the Office of Independent Counsel, stated: "He [Clinton] suspected that a foreign embassy [it is now known that embassy was that of Israel] was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories." Lewinsky continued, "If ever questioned, she should say that the two of them were just friends. If anyone ever asked about their phone sex, she should say that they knew their calls were being monitored all along, and the phone sex was just a put on."
WMR has learned from U.S. intelligence sources that Emanuel was discovered to be part of a political intelligence and blackmail operation directed against Clinton by Israel's Likud Party and Binyamin Netanyahu to sink Clinton's proposed Middle East peace deal. We have also learned that the FBI investigation of Emanuel is part of a file code-named the "Mega file." "Mega" is a reference to a top-level Mossad agent in the Reagan administration who was said to have run a number of Israeli agents, including U.S. Navy spy Jonathan Pollard.