Washington Post columnist David Broder smells a rat and speculates that its name may be Rahm and its best two friends may be Post writers Dana Milbank and Jason Horowitz. This is an amazing call out by the “dean” of Washington opinionators against colleagues in his own paper.
As I’ve discussed before, the White House has historically been home to outsized egos but perhaps none any larger than the two presently residing there in the persons of Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel. It seems now, if Broder is to be believed, that Emanuel’s pride needs some elbow room and he’s telling the press all about it. In an article derisively titled ” The Fable of Emanuel the Great”, Broder lays out the full scope of the Rahm CYA Tour and his willing apologists at the Washington Post:
In the space of 10 days, thanks in no small part to my own newspaper, the president of the United States has been portrayed as a weakling and a chronic screw-up who is wrecking his administration despite everything that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, can do to make things right.
This remarkable fiction began unfolding on Feb. 21 in the Sunday column of my friend Dana Milbank, who wrote that “Obama’s first year fell apart in large part because he didn’t follow his chief of staff’s advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter,” i.e., a one-term failure.
A week later, presumably the same anonymous sources persuaded Milbank to pronounce that Obama “too often plays the 98-pound weakling; he gets sand kicked in his face and responds with moot-court zingers.”
And on Tuesday, The Post led the paper with a purported news story by Jason Horowitz saying that a president with Obama’s “detached, professorial manner” needed “a political enforcer” like Emanuel to have a chance of succeeding, “because he [Emanuel] possessed a unique understanding of the legislative mind.” Unfortunately, the story said, “influential Democrats are — in unusually frank terms — blaming Obama and his closest campaign aides for not listening to Emanuel.”
It sounded, for all the world, like the kind of orchestrated leaks that often precede a forced resignation in Washington.
So, is Rahm on his way out? Among the many thoughts swirling around in that big head may be this one: “Did I leave a powerful position in the House of Representatives (number four in leadership, probably number two in actual power) to sign up for this?” What a difference a year makes.
We are witnessing the unraveling of what may be the most ineffective, amateurish and tone deaf political operation ever run out of the White House. It sounds as if Rahm Emanuel is finally paying attention and sees the wave coming over the bow as President Obama orders full speed ahead on reconciliation. As we predicted here months ago, this will not end well for the Democrats. Backstabbing and leaks are the first real sign of the political ship sinking.