Saturday, November 08, 2008

Rahm Emanuel: hard-nosed moderate?

Incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has a reputation as a hard-nosed partisan but, according to Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal, he is not a hard-nosed liberal.  Riley reviews some of Emanuel's background:
As head of the DCCC, he was not only responsible for fund raising but also for vetting candidates. His methods often upset members of his own party, even when they were successful. In 2006, he made a tactical decision to recruit candidates who opposed abortion rights and gun control to run in more conservative-leaning districts. And although the strategy worked, it meant passing over more ideologically pure candidates, which didn't sit well with some orthodox liberals.
And also:
Policy-wise, Mr. Emanuel has fashioned himself as a "New Democrat" in the Clinton mold. He has long been an advocate of governing from the center, reaching across the aisle to seek consensus. As a Clinton adviser, he championed welfare reform and free trade. He's even called for a flatter, less progressive system of taxation. As a congressman, Mr. Emanuel supported the Bush administration's decision to remove Saddam Hussein, though he subsequently criticized the president's management of the war in Iraq.
In Chicago, Obama may have been a G-D-America leftist. His selection of Rep. Emanuel at least provides hope that, as president, he will be more closely tied to reality.

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