By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Tag: Rahm Emanuel

Hypocrites with their hands out

We’re all having enormous fun with the news that 38 Studios, the video-game company launched by Curt Schilling, is circling the drain after receiving some $75 million in guaranteed loans from the state of Rhode Island.

Schilling has never been shy about expressing his views as a small-government Republican. Old friend (you knew there had to be a Backscratching Day angle, didn’t you?) Steve Syre offers a particularly choice morsel in his Boston Globe column:

Schilling is a self-described conservative with a disdain for big government, which he considers intrusive and overbearing. He is a big believer in people helping themselves and solving their own problems.

A couple of lines from an old post on Schilling’s blog, 38 pitches, sums it up:

“If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.

“A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.”

Entertaining though Schilling’s hypocrisy may be, that’s pretty small beans compared to the monumentally two-faced philosophy of Joe Ricketts, who may or may not be willing to fund a $10 million Super PAC campaign against President Obama centered largely around his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny report in the New York Times that Ricketts appeared to be motivated “primarily by his belief that government spending is out of control and that Mr. Obama cannot be trusted to rein in the deficit and reduce the national debt.” Which is what makes this all the more delicious: the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, is seeking $300 million in taxpayer money from the city and state in order to renovate Wrigley Field.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former chief-of-staff to Obama, has been working hard to come up with $100 million in city money for the Cubs, according to Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business (thanks to Kurt Hartwig for the link).

And Jim Warren of the Daily Beast quotes an unnamed Emanuel aide as saying, “The mayor is pissed. Very pissed. Very, very pissed.”

The Cubs are run by Joe Ricketts’ son Tom, whom the Times describes as apolitical. But the Cubs are by all accounts a family affair, with Hinz calling Joe Ricketts the “patriarch of the Chicago Cubs’ owning family.”

As it turns out, Joe Ricketts has 300 million reasons not to throw the Wright stuff at Obama.

Photo (cc) by Chris Brown and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

Obama shouldn’t have waited

Barack Obama’s transition is of considerably more importance to the nation than U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

So if it’s true that the Obama team has found nothing improper in Rahm Emanuel’s contacts with Blago, then it should have released the news last week rather than giving in to Fitzgerald’s request for a delay.

Fake Rahm Emanuel has his say.

Did Rahm blow the whistle? Did Blago break the law?

To acknowledge the obvious: the Obama team would naturally be in touch with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about whom it would like to see replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

The Chicago Tribune has now confirmed the liaison was incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who, the Politico reports, is not a target of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation.

It’s interesting that Obama aide Valerie Jarrett suddenly went from Senate candidate to high-level White House staffer. Which raises the question of whether Emanuel blew the whistle on Blago — or, having learned that Blago was up to no good, failed to alert Fitzgerald.

Assuming Blago even did anything illegal, that is. It is possible to be a complete slimeball and not break the law. Does anyone believe that horsetrading over a Senate seat wouldn’t get rough? I’ve been following this story pretty closely, and I have to confess I’m not sure where the line is.

A Senate seat in return for a large grocery bag filled with $100 bills? OK, illegal. A Senate seat in return for Obama’s “appreciation,” as Blago sneeringly put it? Legal. But how about a Senate seat in return for an ambassadorship, which is one of the goodies Blagojevich was supposedly interested in?

Sounds like politics to me.

(Expletive deleted) genius

What am I giving thanks for today? Fake Rahm Emanuel.

Here we go again

Doesn’t President-elect Obama have a problem on his hands if Sen. Hillary Clinton turns him down for the secretary of state’s post? Wouldn’t anyone else now be seen as second-best?

Obama got lucky with Rahm Emanuel. But the name-floating that’s going on right now strikes me as a significant breakdown in discipline on the part of the Obama camp.

Emanuel’s forced Hamlet act

Am I missing something? Or has the vaunted Obama team suffered a breakdown in discipline regarding U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who’s been offered the job of White House chief of staff? Why is Emanuel publicly pondering whether to take it or not? What does this do to the eventual chief of staff if Emanuel turns it down?

I know there’s a lot of speculation out there about many of the positions President-elect Obama will be filling, including the possibility that John Kerry will be given the secretary of state’s job. But the way the Emanuel appointment is being handled is clunky, to say the least. If he turns it down, whoever winds up in the job will be seen as second-rate.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén