#1 Emanuel Wields Power Freely, and Faces the Risks
08-16-2009, 12:26 AM
- Join Date
- May 2008
- no-man's land in Texas
The New York Times?!!!
As the principal author of Mr. Obama’s do-everything-at-once strategy, he stands to become a figure of consequence in his own right if the administration stabilizes the economy and financial markets, overhauls the health care system and winds down one war while successfully prosecuting another.
If things do not go well — and right now Mr. Obama’s political popularity is declining, his health care legislation is under conservative assault, the budget deficit is at an eye-popping level and Afghanistan remains volatile — it is Mr. Emanuel whose job will be on the line before Mr. Obama’s.
“He’s about to be tested; he’s spinning a lot of plates over there and he breaks a lot of china,” said Joel Johnson, a close friend and fellow veteran official of the Clinton White House. “They’ve had some good success early on, but they’ve got a number of major pieces of the agenda in the queue, and it’s going to be really difficult.”
In national security, officials said Mr. Emanuel had been a player on issues central to the Obama presidency — Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East and, to some extent, Iraq and Russia. He has been a force behind the administration’s opposition to Israeli settlement expansion, drawing fire from some Israel supporters.
After a last-minute decision to have the president go to Saudi Arabia yielded no tangible results, Mr. Emanuel pushed to ensure that future foreign trips had “deliverables,” or achievements secured in advance.
His win-the-day mentality, so shunned by the Bush team, can make for a reactive White House. Where Mr. Bush’s aides prided themselves on sticking to plans, Mr. Emanuel constantly adjusts. Aides said they went home at night thinking they knew the next day’s plan, only to discover after his 7:30 a.m. meeting with top advisers that the plan had been ripped up.
“Whatever that image, inside the administration it is like a family,” Mr. Orszag said. “You can disagree in private, but you’re not going to air the disagreements publicly and you’re not going to undercut your sibling — or you’ll pay for it at the dinner table.”
08-16-2009, 08:54 AM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
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