White House Aide Blame Rahm for Democrats’ Midterm Debacle
By Richard Wolffe | The Daily Beast
As they assess Tuesday’s disaster, some Obama advisers are singling out the recently departed chief of staff. Richard Wolffe on the clash between Emanuel’s personal ambition and his party loyalty.
As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rahm Emanuel built a Democratic majority in the House. As President Obama’s chief of staff, he devised White House strategy toward Capitol Hill. So when the Democrats were going down in flames Tuesday night, where was Obama’s chief political architect? Half a continent away, campaigning for himself.
Half a continent away, campaigning for himself in the most pro-Obama place on the planet, largely sheltered from the Republican rubble crashing down on his party all across the country.
And his old colleagues in Washington aren’t too happy about it. Some of them shake their heads in disbelief that Emanuel would bolt at precisely the juncture when the Democrats needed to shape their strategy and message during the homestretch of what everyone knew would be the toughest election cycle in years.
‘It was Rahm who always said, ‘We’ve just got to put points on the board,’ and that’s why we have a transactional presidency,” said one former colleague. “The only problem is that Obama is not a transactional politician. It was Rahm’s strategy and then he leaves a month before the election for his own personal political career. It’s extraordinary.”