Rham Emanuel May Leave White House

Published: June 21st 2010
in News » World

White House Chief of Staff Rham Emanuel
Pic: wikimedia commons

President Barack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, Rham Emanuel, is rumoured to be quitting his post in the next six to eight months, according to Washington insiders.


Rumours swirling through the US capital say that Emanuel, 50, is thought to be leaving due to dissatisfaction with the Obama Administration’s inability to get tough with members of Congress in order to push through its legislative agenda. As a member of Congress, Emanuel was a pragmatist, known for forcefully spearheading compromise legislation.


Emanuel is said to have a good relationship with the President but various media outlets are reporting that a disagreement over the direction of the administration – especially a battle with the more idealistic members of Obama’s inner circle – has led Emanuel to make the decision to resign after serving only two years of his four-year term.


Friends close to Emanuel are also reportedly saying that he is concerned about burning out and wants to spend more time with his young family. The White House Chief of Staff is considered the most high stress job next to the President. The position involves setting the president’s agenda, being the White House’s Congressional liaison and keeping the administration on message.


Emanuel’s in-your-face style has also gotten under the skin of certain members of the administration, and there have been rumblings among Obama’s inner circle that he has failed to pave the way for easy passage of the President’s legislative agenda.


There were also disagreements over health care reform. Emanuel favoured a watered down bill that would save money, thereby alleviating public worry over spiralling costs. Obama’s advisors, including strategist David Axelrod and close associate Valerie Jarrett, instead made the decision to go with larger scale legislation.


"It might not be his fault, but the perception is there," a political consultant told the Telegraph. "Every vote has been tough, from health care to energy to financial reform. Democrats have not stood behind the president in the way Republicans did for George W Bush, and that was meant to be Rahm's job.”


He had also told friends that the job was so demanding that he was only interested in doing it for eighteen months. He has also reportedly said privately that he is eying a run for mayor of Chicago, his home city. Current Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is up for re-election in 2011.


Considered an outspoken and colourful politician, Emanuel is considered the main Jewish presence at the White House and his name is frequently mentioned in rebuttal when Obama is accused of not being pro-Israel enough or sensitive to Jewish concerns and issues. Emanuel’s departure may have the potential to hurt Obama’s standing with Jewish voters. In the 2008 election, Jews voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

Related articles: (Obama, Rham Emanuel, Chicago, health care reform)
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