Posts Tagged ‘Rahm Emanuel’

Somebody’s been doing some oppo research on the Donald

Donald Trump sent Nancy Pelosi warm wishes when she was sworn in as House Speaker in January 2007, praising her as “the best” in a personal note.

Trump, who’s now mulling a Republican run for president, penned the note on a copy of a New York Times article that chronicled Pelosi’s swearing-in, and wrote, “Nancy — you’re the best. Congrats. Donald,” according to sources familiar with the missive.

Trump, now a registered Republican, is a former independent and former registered Democrat. And the Pelosi note is a reminder that he has a past political history of supporting both sides of the aisle.

Trump confirmed to POLITICO he wrote the note, but said it was “because I want her to do great, and I want this country to be great, and I [didn’t] want her to fail as Speaker. And I like her.”

His past campaign contributions run the spectrum of American politics, including prominent Democrats and Republicans. However, two in particular from the recent past jump out at me. First, this $50,000 donation to American Crossroads, the conservative 527 group, made on October 6, 2010 (screengrab from FEC electronic records):

The second is this $50,000 donation to Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign in Chicago, made just before Christmas of last year, but after the big Republican wins in the 2010 midterms (screengrab from Illinois State Board of Elections electronic records):

You’ll recall Emanuel’s previous job was as chief of staff to President Obama – the man Trump would be running against if he commits to the 2012 presidential race. If Trump decides to jump into the 2012 Republican sweepstakes, I assume this is an issue that will come up from other campaigns.

Much has been made of Rush Limbaugh’s widely quoted “I hope Obama fails” comment, which he first made on his radio show a few days before Obama’s inauguration, and repeated it again at CPAC this past weekend.

Democrats have seized the initiative and are trying to make Rush Limbaugh the face and driving force of the GOP. Rahm Emanuel himself threw down the gauntlet on the Sunday talk shows yesterday.

Keep in mind Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey publicly apologized after making comments in a Politico story criticizing Rush Limbaugh.

Eric Cantor, the second highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, distanced himself from Limbaugh’s comments yesterday.

Now, we’ll see if Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican Party, is going to face the same kind of pressure to make amends with Limbaugh.

These episodes show just how large of a shadow Limbaugh and his audience casts on the Republican Party. I can’t think of anyone else in political or media circles on the right or left who has this much muscle that they can force a sitting member of Congress to issue a public apology. The question now is how far will he go with his rhetoric and how far is the Republican Party and the base willing to follow him?

Update: Limbaugh responds to Steele:

“Why do you claim to lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it President Obama succeeds?” Limbaugh addressed Steele.

“I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to conclude that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail,” said Limbaugh.

Late last week, Steele told CNN’s D.L. Hughley that Limbaugh is an “entertainer” whose comments are “ugly.”

Also on his radio program Monday, Limbaugh said Steele is being used by the “liberal media.”

“Michael Steele has been around long enough to know that the liberal media will use him by twisting what I say or what others say,” he said. “He took the bait, he bit down hard on the bait, he launched an attack on me, even though the premise of what was said to him was false.”

Update II: Damn, that was fast. Steele apologized to Limbaugh.

Limbaugh said he’s not in charge of the Republican Party, but every time a Party leader or elected official has to kiss his ring every time they say or do something that annoys him, it just reinforces the Democrats’ message strategy that Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the GOP.

Update III: Andrew Sullivan has reactions to the Limbaugh-Steele feud from the conservative blogosphere.

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Lots of activity in the White House hiring announcements:

Greg Craig gets the White House Counsel job.

Eric Holder will be Attorney General.

Tom Daschle will be Health and Human Services Secretary.

Phil Schiliro gets the nod for Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.

Valerie Jarrett will be Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison.

Peter Orszag will take over the Office of Management and Budget.

Lisa Brown will be staff secretary.

Chris Lu will be cabinet secretary.

So to recap, here’s what the administration looks like so far.

President – Barack Obama
Chief of Staff – Rahm Emanuel
Vice President – Joe Biden
Chief of Staff – Ron Klain
White House Counsel – Greg Craig
Senior Adviser – David Axelrod
Senior Adviser – Valerie Jarrett
Press Secretary – Robert Gibbs
Legislative Affairs – Phil Schiliro
OMB – Peter Orszag
Cabinet Secretary – Chris Lu
Staff Secretary – Lisa Brown

HHS – Tom Daschle
Attorney General – Eric Holder

“As a young man, he had a serious accident.  I think many of you are aware of this, he was working in a deli, an accident with a meat-slicing machine, he lost part of his middle finger.  As a result of this, this rendered him practically mute. (LAUGHTER)  Has he ever flashed that little stubby thing at you?  It’s appalling.”

- Senator Barack Obama roasting his future Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, September 20, 2005.

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Politico reporting that Robert Gibbs will be Obama’s White House Press Secretary.

Update: Rahm Emanuel accepts the Chief of Staff Job.

Update II: Colin Powell will not be part of the Obama administration.

Update III: Stephanopoulos reporting that David Axelrod will be Senior Adviser.

MSNBC is reporting that Rahm Emanuel has been offered the White House Chief of Staff job and is currently “agonizing” over the decision.