Person of Interest

How Rahm Helps Obama

In 2005, Josh Green profiled Obama’s new Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for Rolling Stone as the Illinois Representative headed up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The piece has some fun anecdotes, like when Emanuel sent a rotting fish to a pollster who angered him, and comments on Emanuel’s ruthlessness and aggression. (In the Clinton White House, meetings typically began with Emanuel yelling at the staff for 45 minutes). It also hints at how why he will be valuable to the Obama administration. Emanuel is, according to Green, “a certified member of the Beltway establishment, and a political centrist to boot” who “has received generally positive reviews from the increasingly noisy—and powerful—grass roots of the Democratic Party.” Uniting these two wings of the Democratic party, as DSCC chairman he rode “a national wave of anti-Washington sentiment rooted in the mounting instances of corruption and sleaze that have piled up in the Republican-led Congress.”