In one of his first big decisions as President-Elect, Barack Obama has asked Rahm Emanuel to be his Chief of Staff.
I’d heard of Emanuel- one can’t be as entrenched in politics as I am, and not know of him- but realized as Obama’s announcement came, that I actually know very little about the guy.
So I did a some research.
Rahm Emanuel is a democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
He represents the 5th Congressional district of Illinois- a position he has held since 2003.
While certainly left-leaning, he’s no bleeding heart.
On the contrary, he is known for being combative, cut-throat, and never backing down from a fight.
He’s a close friend of the Clintons, having served as a political advisor inside the white house for six years during the Clinton Administration.
Emanuel was a key factor in saving Bill Clinton’s campaign for presidency during the Gennifer Flowers scandal.
By all accounts, he is ruthless.
It’s said that while he doesn’t have many friends in Washington, he is the man the dems run to when they want to win.
Representative Emanuel was the muscle behind the democrats’ historic 2006 mid-term election victory… had it not been for his efforts while chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, we may not have won congressional majority during the Bush administration.
He didn’t start out in the political arena.
Emanuel was born in 1959 in Chicago; his brother is Hollywood powerhouse Ariel Emanuel.
I guess feistiness is a family trait that he inherited honestly.
As a child and throughout high school, his passion was dance- he was even awarded a ballet scholarship to the esteemed Joffrey College, though he turned it down, instead attending Sarah Lawrence College.
He liked their school of dance better than Joffrey’s… because of the male/female ratio. He enjoyed the fact that there were four women to every male.
It was while in college that Emanuel first became interested in politics, joining the congressional campaign of Chicago’s David Robinson.
He had a knack for raising money… and began developing a reputation in Washington while working on various candidates’ election bids… eventually catching the eye of then-Governor Bill Clinton… which is how he became the Director of Finance for Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Nicknamed “Rahmbo” for his aggression and intensity, Rahm Emanuel has been a man to watch.
It’s fitting that a former power-house fundraiser would now come together with Barack Obama, a fellow record-breaking fundraiser…
… And make a happy partnership in the white house.
I can’t wait to see who else President Obama will choose to surround himself with, but am immensely pleased with this first step in the creation of the Obama Administration.