October 2, 2010

"According to Bob Woodward, National Security Adviser Jim Jones called Emanuel and his fellow political aides 'the water bugs.'"

Writes William Kristol:
“They flit around,” Jones said. “Rahm gets an idea at 10 a.m. and wants a briefing by 4 p.m., and I will say no,” because the work can’t be done that quickly. According to Woodward, Jones believed “the water bugs did not understand war or foreign relations .  .  . and were too interested in measuring the short-term political impact of the president’s decisions in these areas.”

But Emanuel turned out not to be particularly good at measuring the political impact of the president’s decisions. Or was his sage political counsel too often rejected by the president—as he has suggested on not-so-deep background to friendly journalists?
UPDATE: Jones goes.

21 comments:

America's Politico said...

Emanuel is the best thing that happened to the White House. He was good. All of the President's wonderful accomplishments are because of Rahm. I am a fan of Rahm. I am trying to find a way to consult him. He would be my holy-grail.

Rahm will be Chicago's next Mayor. Rahm will make Chicago the 1st city in America. NYC will be the 2nd city the day after Rahm gets elected.

There is a lot of jealousy towards smart people: Rahm is one example. Another is Obama.

GOP sympathy in MSM is tragic. Sad. Distasteful.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Emanuel is the best thing that happened to the White House.

Well, sure. Look who he was up against.

Lincolntf said...

Rahm is getting out of Dodge just ahead of the posse. He's just using the Mayoral race (for which he is likely ineligible) as an excuse.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@America's Politico

If you regret Emanuel's departure, I regret it even more. More than anyone except for possibly Obama himself, Emanuel is responsible for the far-left orgy that has torpedoed the Democrat party. He has been an absolute disaster at reading the American electorate. Thank God for that. An entire cohort of statist opportunists will be swept out thanks to the arrogance of Rahm Emanuel. If he is elected mayor of Chicago the city will be what it has always been-- home of the most corrupt municipal government in the nation. As for intelligence, when it exists in a man without principles, it is destructive.

edutcher said...

RahmBo is being portrayed as the "adult" in this particular frat party, but that doesn't say much. After all, this is Mr. "Never let a good crisis go to waste".

Why, though, do we take Mortuary Bob's word for anything when we know his methods are so questionable?

(Particularly getting his best stuff from corpses)

PS AP needs to go on a long weekend (say, till 11/3) with his girl friend.

GMay said...

I wonder if Rahm's already plowed through that 16 mil he was given in his short time as an investment banker and he's leaving because there's more money in Chicago Politics than on the national scene.

GMay said...

AP - you peaked about a month ago. You should have taken that Moby act on the road like I told ya; you were ready. It's getting stale now.

Irene said...

Kristol left out the "Politburo" part.

Zach said...

Supposedly he advised against passing the full-scale healthcare bill. ("Supposedly," as in, according to anonymous sources named Rahm Emmanuel, who would never lie about such a thing.)

If you give advice like that and your boss doesn't take it, it probably is time to leave.

Methadras said...

Their incompetency starts from the top down. From Erkle, on down.

The Drill SGT said...

They flit around,” Jones said.

Water bugs are the quintessential light weights

Kirk Parker said...

"Water bugs"? No way, not nearly slimy enough.

Christy said...

How about stink bugs? We've been overrun with stink bugs these last few weeks.

Rialby said...

My wife, who values our relationship with Israel, recognized that Obama would tow the International Left line with regard to Israel. She voted for him anyway. She explained to me that Rahm Emanuel, given his background, would help moderate Obama's stance towards Israel. I like to remind her of this theory.

Roger J. said...

Perhaps we should think of all those political wunderkind (Karl Rove,James Carville, Susan Estrige, Bob Shrum, George Stephanopolist, and now Rahm Emanuel ) who end up being "analysts" for the 24 hour news shows. They seem to share one thing in common: a relatively short shelf life once their patron achieves public office.

Roger J. said...

Oh--and who can forget the imminently forgetable Hamilton Jordan (for the youth here, Jimmy Carter's man)

Richard Dolan said...

Whether Rahm was good or bad in his position, the fault lies with the fellow who put him and kept him there. As it did with Reagan keeping Regan, and Bush keeping the 'Mayberry Machiavellis.'

Kristol's reference to The Prince is apt, perhaps more so that Kristol recognized. When governments were run by hereditary monarchs, the princes of the realm were trained from an early age to lead, how to select and manage ministers. They weren't always successful, and many were bad at it despite the long training and apprenticeship.
But today, few politicians have any background in running a large organization, in selecting and controlling staff, etc. Most have never done anything but work in government. That's particularly a problem for Dems. And the essence of politics is trying to please as many as possible -- an approach that doesn't fit well with executive management skills.

It's not that the necessary training isn't available -- any business school offers , and a career in any successful business organization will develop it as well. But so many politicians today have no background in business whatever. Obama famously has none. Same with all those academics with which he's surrounded himself.

Despite his faults, Rahm may turn out to have been one of O's best picks.

traditionalguy said...

Does this mean the White House needs to be fumigated for bugs now? Too much DDT in the air and DC would become a ghost town.

Kirk Parker said...

tradguy,

"Too much DDT in the air and DC would become a ghost town."

Yes, ok, so please go on: what are the downsides?

former law student said...

But Rahm's tenure as Chief of Staff was much longer than Kristol's short, hapless tenure as NYT weekly token conservative. Apparently the movement can produce no more Buckleys or Safires.

But I'm a bit confused. Kristol apparently endorses Jones' position (quoted by Woodward) that Emanuel was too interested in measuring the political impact of Obama's decisions. But then he faults Emanuel for keeping Obama out of touch with public opinion. Which is it?

Come to find out that Kristol was also a Chief of Staff, for little Danny Quayle. So surely this experience qualifies Kristol to judge. I wonder if Kristol quoted The Prince to GHW Bush: And the first conjecture that is to be made of the brain of a lord is to see the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful, he can always be reputed wise because he has known how to recognize them as capable and to maintain them as faithful. Or did Kristol really see Quayle as "capable"? As capable as Dick Cheney? As capable and faithful as Sarah Palin would have been?

Kirk Parker said...

FLS,

Given the Obama picked Joe "The US and France Kicked Hezbollah Out Of Southern Lebanon" Biden, I have to say the competition isn't all that fierce.