The Rise and Fall of Rahm Emanuel

Posted: February 9, 2010 in Politics

I received one very cogent argument that reinforces my skepticism about President Obama’s choice of chief of staff when he first took office, in today’s e-mail from a man I’ve been getting daily messages ever since I entered my e-mail address on a sign-up sheet in Howard Dean’s presidential campaign headquarters in Seattle. The link to the man’s blog and my response to his post follow: is the URL, and these are my questions in my response:

Ok. Let’s go waaay back to Howard Dean’s candidacy. Do you recall Emanuel’s being a foe of Dean in the lead-up to the primaries? Because of that, and Emanuel being considered abrasive and not much in the way of in the bi-partisan spirit, I was really skeptical of Obama’s choice of Emanuel for chief of staff. Weren’t you?


I considered Bill Clinton’s pick for A. G., Janet Reno, the first crack in his armor after I read the article reprinted in Reader’s Digest about how she went after some poor guy on trumped up charges of child molestation. According to the article she knew he was innocent but insisted on prosecuting (persecuting?) him anyway. In Clinton‘s case his missteps could be ascribed to lack of sleep (he answered questions about the bags developing under his eyes that he wasn’t getting much sleep). In an article on the importance of getting adequate sleep the author cited President Clinton’s serious lapses in judgment as examples of what can happen to you if you don’t get enough sleep.


On a personal note: I’ve been paying a lot more attention to getting enough sleep since I read that and other articles about sleep and the importance of getting enough. I go so far as to log my (estimated) going to sleep and waking time, running an average and, to get an idea of how regular my sleep is, I run a 2-sigma each week. Granting, considering the placebo effect and "you are your own worst analyst", I can’t be sure better sleep is working for me. Several elements in my personal life have improved in the last few years. Other factors are involved; but I can’t help but believe better sleep must have an effect.


Inasmuch as Obama doesn’t show the facial clues to lack of sleep, and if we accept Emanuel’s pick as chief of staff an error in judgment on Obama’s part, why wasn’t anyone asking him about his pick at the time? Or, are you aware of anyone asking that?


As I often say, “sometimes I add 2 + 2 and get 5; but sometimes I get 4.”


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