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Rahm Emanuel Is Doing Some Serious CYA After ObamaCare Passage: Does He Hear Clinton Footsteps?

Liberal blogger Greg Sargent has an interesting piece out today about Jonathan Alter's new book "The Promise". I haven't read the book but Sargent offers some interesting teasers from Alter's analysis of the war going on inside the White House about the debate and wisdom of trying to pass what we know today as ObamaCare.

Rahm Emanuel spent nearly a week in the summer of 2009 aggressively trying to talk Obama out of moving forward with an ambitious version of health care reform, and by his own admission "begged" him not to do it, a book out next week reports.

"I begged him not to do this," Rahm admits to Alter. But according to the book, Obama overrode Rahm's advice, privately taking a bit of shot at Clinton by telling advisers that he hadn't been sent to the White House to do "school uniforms."

According to the book, when the health care wars were heating up in August of 2009, and centrist Dems were dragging their feet, Rahm mounted an aggressive push to get Obama to shelve ambitious reform.

"For the better part of a week in August Rahm made the case aggressively," the book says.
But the book paints Obama as resolute about moving forward, contradicting impressions at the time that Obama hadn't exercised enough leadership on the issue. "I feel lucky," he told advisers at the time, according to the book. "I think we can get it done."

At a subsequent meeting in the Oval Office on September 1st, the book reports, Robert Gibbs cracked a joke about bad poll numbers on health care.

"This is about whether we're going to get big things done," Obama said. "I wasn't sent here to do school uniforms."

Rahm then asked Obama if he still felt lucky
.
"My name is Barack Hussein Obama and I'm sitting here," Obama answered. "So yeah, I'm feeling pretty lucky
."

In light of the recent news that ObamaCare will be much more expensive than what anyone estimated during the heated moments of the Stupak Deception and the Nelson Payoff some politicians and DC insiders are in full CYA mode (like Henry Waxman). Of course the cost of ObamaCare, if it can't be repealed or defunded, will cost way more than even the CBO's new $110 billion dollar estimated increase (which brings the total to _______ (fill in the blank). But as Sargent mentions, there are several interesting subplots to the story including the angle of Rahm Emanuel as a prophet not respected in his own land. The subsequent political fallout from the passage of ObamaCare, and the imminent losses of Democrats at the polls in November, certainly has engendered a lot of posturing by Democratic insiders. There have been several stories recently in the political press that portray Emanuel as the level headed, reasonable and cautious consigliere that warned his boss not to drive his Party off the cliff with an undertaking as controversial as ObamaCare.

But the gratuitous comment attributed to Obama in Sargent's article about the Clintons (and school uniforms) is some real raw meat. President Obama, while remaining generically popular in national polls, is getting crushed in the battleground states of the 2010 midterms. I've never dismissed the possibility of a Clinton challenge to Obama in 2012 for several reasons. First, if Hillary would have simply executed a nominally effective caucus state strategy in 2008 Obama would have lost. Second, there is the still in place Clinton campaign apparatus that could be mobilized immediately. And third there is the Ego of the Clintons and their drive for power. Granted, all politicians that strive for higher office must necessarily possess large egos, but the Clintons took that requisite to a new level in the 1990's.

The smooth, confident (and, as Vice President Biden says), "clean and articulate" President Obama will be looked at and perceived much differently if there is a Republican Majority in the House (and possibly the Senate) in January 2011. Something tells me Rahm Emanuel has figured this out while President Obama is still admiring the view from the Oval office.


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Comments (25)

Barrack Hussein Obama... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Barrack Hussein Obama

mmm mmm mmm

"My name is Barack Husse... (Below threshold)
914:

"My name is Barack Hussein Obama and I'm sitting here," Obama answered. "So yeah, I'm feeling pretty lucky."

What he calls luck, I call a curse. mmm mmm mmm


I've never dismissed the... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

I've never dismissed the possibility of a Clinton challenge to Obama in 2012 for several reasons.

I've assumed this from the get-go, for several reasons, but the big one is: why would Hillary trade a safe Senate seat for the dicey job of SecState, from which she could be fired at any moment?

Answer: because if she's in the Administration, but resigns on a matter of principle, she repudiates Obamanism in a way that she can't as a Senator. (Gotta be close to make a point about moving away; being away, and moving further away, doesn't make an impact.) Meanwhile, she gains foreign policy chops.

Paradoxically, I was heartened by Hillary's going to State. It meant that the Clintons - no political neophytes they - figured the Messiah would crash and burn, and they were positioning themselves to pick up the pieces.

I stand by that analysis.

Yes Jay but given the wanto... (Below threshold)
914:

Yes Jay but given the wanton destruction Barry has wrought I seriously doubt She would have a chance in 2012.. 2016 maybe but not 2012.

A Clinton challenge to Obam... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

A Clinton challenge to Obama in 2012 is not going to happen. For that to even be a possibility, things would have to be very bad for Obama, with approval ratings in the very low 20's or even high teens.

Given that scenario, Clinton or any former member of Obama's administration would have no viable basis for separating themselves from Obama's failed policies.

Indeed in those circumstances, any Democrat candidate would be doomed because a failed Obama presidency will also, inevitably be viewed by the American public as a failure by the Democrats to competently govern.

Hillary running against an Obama seeking a second term would split the party and Obama's supporters would permanently view Hillary as an opportunistic traitor.

It would virtually guarantee a Republican victory.

Bill Clinton is easily astute enough to understand this and would undoubtedly advise Hillary to wait till 2016. She could then act as a unity candidate rather than as a divider.

I agree Obama healthcare wi... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I agree Obama healthcare will cost more than anticipated, anything to do with health always does, remember Bush's medicare prescription bill, but the passage of the bill gave Obama a small bounce in the polls.

Hillary Clinton in 2012? I hope not; look at her missteps recently in Pakistan. She is just too heavy-handed. I'm sure you would say if she scares the hell out of our friends, imagine what she will do with our enemies.

Hillary will challenge Obam... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hillary will challenge Obama in 2012. Obama will have lost congress in 2010 and Hillary will use it as a sledgehammer against Obama in the primaries.
Add in the 10 percent unemployment for the next 2 years and Hillary has a good shot of winning it. She doesnt want to wait until she is 70 to run in 2016.
I predict Hillary will be the 2012 nominee for the dems.

I also predict she will lose as the minority vote will stay home in protest.

And I also predict that she will run again in 2016 and blame the 2012 loss on the poisoned atmosphere against democrats after 4 years of failure by Obama.

Jay #3 said:"Answe... (Below threshold)
HughS:

Jay #3 said:

"Answer: because if she's in the Administration, but resigns on a matter of principle, she repudiates Obamanism in a way that she can't as a Senator. (Gotta be close to make a point about moving away; being away, and moving further away, doesn't make an impact.) Meanwhile, she gains foreign policy chops.

Paradoxically, I was heartened by Hillary's going to State. It meant that the Clintons - no political neophytes they - figured the Messiah would crash and burn, and they were positioning themselves to pick up the pieces."

Good point, especially about being close and moving away. I've said before that I don't agree with the the Clinton's policy and politics, but they are skilled practitioners of the political craft. President Obama, in comparison, is an amateur.

Ted Kennedy challenged Cart... (Below threshold)
RickZ:

Ted Kennedy challenged Carter in 1980, losing in the primaries. Anything can happen in 2012, if Obama gets that far.

"So yeah, I'm f... (Below threshold)
"So yeah, I'm feeling pretty lucky."
Thing about luck is, it can change. You got to know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em.
Of course so much can chang... (Below threshold)
914:

Of course so much can change in a short period of time as we have seen Hussein elected/selected whatever as the worst loser evah. Still, I just dont see any dem having a shot in 2012 unless the DOW soars to 15,000, 20,000,000 jobs are brought back, taxes are cut or Hussein declares marshall law. The only one of those I see happening is #4 cause hes so damn stuck on himself.

Of course he would get ramrodded out of town in about 2 days if he tried it but I would not put anything past the hustler in chief.

... (Below threshold)
TaterSalad:


"Socialism is a system where the government directly owns and manages businesses. Corporatism is a system where businesses are nominally in private hands, but are in fact controlled by the government. In a corporatist state, government officials often act in collusion with their favored business interests to design policies that give those interests a monopoly position, to the detriment of both competitors and consumers."



Even a liberal should be able to understand this video on "The Bankrupting of America":

http://www.bankruptingamerica.org/2010/04/20/new-video-is-washington-bankrupting-america/

914Dont forget 20 ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

914

Dont forget 20 million illegal aliens who will be pardoned and made voting citizens by fiat (if nothing else works).

I tend to agree with Mr. Br... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

I tend to agree with Mr. Britain @ #5. An intra-party challenge from the center against a sitting President is doomed to failure. The Democratic activists are nearly all hard-lefties now, and most of the donors are very close to that, certainly well to the left of average Democratic voter, and they are all in for Obama.

Hillary's best strategy is to resign after the November election and sit tight. If Obama continues to self-destruct, the remaining Democrats in Congress and in state houses might force him to step aside. It seems unlikely that someone with such a mammoth ego and intense narcissism (with no basis in achievement for either) would listen, but the same might have been said of LBJ. He might prefer declining to run for reelection to impending humiliation.

If that happens, Hillary would be well positioned as the Party's White Knight (pun intended), and even if she lost in 2012, might earn enough gratitude to ensure another shot in 2016.

If Obama runs, Hillary stays out, gives speeches, raises money for Democrats around the country, and bides her time waiting for 2016. Judging by his looks, by that time Bill will have passed on, so she won't have to worry about bimbo eruptions spoiling her campaign.

Judging by his looks, by... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

Judging by his looks, by that time Bill will have passed on, so she won't have to worry about bimbo eruptions spoiling her campaign.

Never sell a true skirt-chaser short. So long as there is booty to chase, Bubba will prosper physically and emotionally. His end will come soon after viagra can't get it up anymore - seen Hef lately? Hillary will have to kick him to the curb to rid herself of that dead weight.

This whole show really is a... (Below threshold)

This whole show really is all about Obama isn't it? His wisecracks, finger scratching, and haughty nature show an adolescent level of disdain for his fellow Americans/Kenyans/ World citizens. Beware of anybody who wants to be King of the World this badly. Usually it doesn't end well.

And who sent him to the whitehouse? I sure didn't!

"Beware of anybody who ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Beware of anybody who wants to be King of the World this badly. Usually it doesn't end well."


If it ever ended well, we would all be in "Camelot" sipping unicorn piss and humming hippie music thoughtlessy.

"thoughtlessly."so... (Below threshold)
914:

"thoughtlessly."

sorry. too much unicorn piss.

The world just revolves aro... (Below threshold)
Thomas Jackson:

The world just revolves around Obama. I wonder how lucky the dhimmies will be this November.

I always figured that Obama... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

I always figured that Obama appointed Hillary Secretary of State to shut her up and take her off the political stage. She can't do much to hurt Obama if she can be fired at will and is spending most of her time kissing ass in third world countries.

Still, there may be some truth to Jay's argument. Clintons, like Kennedys, never really go away. Hillary ain't gonna go away quietly.

sorry. too much unicorn ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

sorry. too much unicorn piss.

Gotta be careful with that stuff, man. Too much of it's bad for the liver and kidneys, not to mention what it does to your brain.

You want your braaaiiiinnnssss nice and fresh when the OBaZombies eat them. Braiinnss... nice fresh braiinnss....

Hahahahahaha... (Below threshold)
914:

Hahahahahaha

Yeah Barry, but you WON'T b... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Yeah Barry, but you WON'T be sitting there come 2013.

"...but the passage of the ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...but the passage of the bill (ObamaCare) gave Obama a small bounce in the polls.

WTF? What the hell are you smoking? He got ZIP! And Billy Bob's touted 10% bounce didn't happen.

If Barry's numbers continue to tank, after a Democratic bloodbath occurs this November, you can bet the DNC will be looking for a new candidate. Who better than Hillary!(TM) She was a good soldier. Bit the bullet for the good of the party. Was a team player. Past experience as a Senator AND Secretary of State.

Kennedy challenged Carter with the tacit approval of the DNC. Carter's numbers were underwater and it was evident he wasn't going to get a second term. But Kennedy had problems of his own.......like manslaughter.

I always figured that Ob... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

I always figured that Obama appointed Hillary Secretary of State to shut her up and take her off the political stage.

Bobdog, I think you're right about Obama's motives for nominating her, but what were Hillary's motives for accepting?

I think Obama miscalculated badly. He thought he could control her better as SecState, but he overlooked the possibility that she might wait until he was unpopular, then pick a fight and storm out of the Administration to run as a the anti-Obama.

Look at what Hillary's doing now. Nothing. She's in Witness Protection, keeping her ass low to the ground so she isn't identified with the Administration. Smart.




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