Patterico's Pontifications

4/7/2014

Interview with the Emanuel

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am

No matter what you think of Rahm Emanuel, this interview of him by the New Republic is amusing. Because, although it is edited, the interview is transcribed, so you can see for yourself how Emanuel intimidates the interviewer. In short, Emanuel scares him. And it works.

IC: When the Obamacare website wasn’t working properly, did you want to be in Washington trying to fix it?

RE: You gotta be kidding. You get a freebie question for the ridiculousness of that question.

IC: I was asking about your competitive instinct. You say you like to fix things.

RE: [Gets up and starts walking around the office.] That goes down as one of the more intriguing questions I have ever had. Did I wish I was in Washington to fix a website? Let me answer that. I have a single-word answer. No. Please do not edit out the sarcasm of that answer.

IC: Don’t worry, it is staying.

If Emanuel wants to go off record, they go off record. If Emanuel mocks the way the interviewer transitions from one topic to another, the interviewer minces and cringes. It’s actually funny to read. It’s too bad they don’t put the audio online.

Emanuel is in the catbird seat: he is a forceful Democrat in a city that does not brook Republicanism. You get a sense of the Happy Dictator in this passage, which comes on the heels of Emanuel’s boasting about how he redid every playground in Chicago and beat the deadline by a year:

IC: You don’t have a Congress that prohibits you from passing the smallest thing.

RE: We have fifty aldermen but we do have a … hmmm.

IC: A working majority?

RE: [Bursts into laughter.] We have a can-do spirit. Washington doesn’t think they have a lot on the line. We have a lot on the line.

A “can-do spirit.” Very cute.

It’s actually something that the country as a whole could use, only in the other direction. A “can-cut” spirit. A “can-repeal” spirit. A “can-dismantle” spirit.

But it’s not enough for one politician to have the spirit. He has to have the country behind him. And that won’t happen until the fiscal crash — and probably not even then.

28 Responses to “Interview with the Emanuel”

  1. And that won’t happen until the fiscal crash — and probably not even then.

    Always look to the example of Venezuela (or, closer to home, the city of Detroit) to witness just how bad things can get, how bad they can remain.

    Mark (7ef0e1)

  2. He’s a brutal, intimidating competitor. There is obviously much about Rahm both personally and politically to dislike. I’ll say this, though: he was elected from among the other um, choices, specifically so that Chicago will not be Detroit. As the economic engine of the entire midwest Chicago needs to be rooted for not against. Rahm has pissed off enough of the unions and (Dem) ruling family dynasties– and worked with the business community sufficiently to make his mayorship interesting to those who understand the terrain here.

    elissa (b364f8)

  3. We Chicagoans are not as stupid as we look. Just like the post-Prohibition mobs, we realized we had to move past leg-breakers and bagmen to manage the City’s finances, and hire a guy who’s smart about money to maintain and expand the business.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. until the fiscal crash

    New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says today that what the world needs now is a good dose of inflation, and he doesn’t mean a measly 2% a year, only people are too stupid to see it, or too cowardly to say it. The IMF he says, is edging closer, but they are not acknowleding what their analysis means.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/opinion/krugman-oligarchs-and-money.html?ref=paulkrugman

    It’s not just deflation that’s bad, he says, – low inflation, like half a percent a year is also bad, and 2% is not enough either, what we need is “moderate inflation”

    Inflation, he said, would have the following benefits:

    1) It’s good for debtors, and would enable more people (and governments?) to spend more money.

    2) The spectre of rising prices would cause people to spend money.

    3) It’s an economic lubricant: it enables prices and wages to get into a better relationship with costs – in other words, it’s hard otherwise for wages and prices to drop.

    And the only people who wouldn’t like it, he says, are well, I suppose you could paraphrase to mean say people who live off their investments.

    He is saying less people would get hurt this way than any other way, and the people who would get hurt, can take it.

    Doing what America did after World War II — using low interest rates and inflation to erode the debt burden — is often referred to as “financial repression,” which sounds bad. But who wouldn’t prefer modest inflation and a bit of asset erosion to mass unemployment? Well, you know who: the 0.1 percent, who receive “only” 4 percent of wages but account for more than 20 percent of total wealth. Modestly higher inflation, say 4 percent, would be good for the vast majority of people, but it would be bad for the superelite. And guess who gets to define conventional wisdom.

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)

  5. He’s as brutal as a failed ballet dancer can be!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. All the Emanuel Bros are intelligent putzes.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  7. Does Rahm Emanuel think fixing a website is boring???

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)

  8. No, Sammy, he thinks early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Wadda? Emanuel is a kingmaker, not a computer programmer.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Well, fixing schools, or playgrounds, is not being a kingmaker.

    What’s the diference? It may be that the website is a new problem, not an old one. It’s a disaster that was caused by somebody being incompetent, and correcting people’s mistakes, or dealing with mistakes, is just an annoyance to him.

    I think he thinks it is not an interesting problem. If you get it working, you are only back to Square One.

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)

  10. Possibly, if he had remained in the White House, he might have said “This is your signature legislation, Barry. Do you want to hire somebody competent for the job or your wife’s college roommate?” And Obama would have said, “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to share a bed with Michelle.” And Axelrod would have said, “She [Michelle's college roommate] and her family and friends bundled $xxxmillion for us in the campaigns. We need to pay her back.”

    nk (dbc370)

  11. =He’s as brutal as a failed ballet dancer can be!=

    His later persona may have some of “a boy named Sue” aspects to it, Col.

    elissa (b364f8)

  12. Yes, no, maybe. Let’s look at the interview. I propose that Rahm would never have agreed to it in the first place, if he did not know beyond a moral certitude that the interviewer was a candy-ass wimp, and a second-rater in intellect and spinal fortitude, that he could play like a yo-yo. He’s smart. He knows both his abilities and his limitations. Unlike Haiku’s Cairn terrier, he will not try to bite the ankles of somebody who can dropkick him across the room.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. Once upon a time journalists were guys who never set foot in a college but who started out as copy boys at the newspaper at age 17 then worked their way up to writing obituaries to covering the courts to doing the crime beat. They were hardboiled and didn’t feel the need to flatter pseudo-toughguy office holders like Rahm Emmanuel. Nowadays all the journalists are Ivy League prisses with nasally voices and designer eyeglasses who are steeped in victimology studies but have never spent a day shadowing a cop, so someone like Emmanuel with a big office scares the daylights out of them. Pretty sad that.

    JVW (9946b6)

  14. zdid anybody understand, even Emanuel, that it was possible to write bad software?

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)

  15. Listen to the little munchkin journalist talk to Rahm Emmanuel about term limits and helpfully add that if terms limits did not exist, “Bill Clinton would still be President” and you get the idea that this is Pajama Boy stuck in awe of the fact that he is talking to a very powerful man who knows both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Can you imagine being a TNR editor who has to transcribe that interview in a way that hides the fact that your interviewer is such a suck-up? What do you want to bet that they edited out a bunch of instances of “I’m sorry” and “I didn’t mean to put it that way” from the interviewer?

    JVW (9946b6)

  16. Isaac Chotiner. A member of Journolist which coordinated coverage in favor of Obama and attacks against McCain and Palin in 2008. Rahm not only knows him, he owns him.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. “Emanuel is in the catbird seat”

    A couple years back I, and others, would have bet Cali would lead the Blue States into bankruptcy.

    I was wrong. Its a matter of revenue and the rate of their respective decline.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  18. Chicago’s municipal credit rating has been degraded to a couple of notches above junk. They have at points had a couple of days income ahead of payroll.

    Rahm has moved his desk next to the door.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  19. That’s just Rahm making sure that his buddies at Goldman Sachs will get a higher rate on their Chicago bonds I think, gary.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. The City people of Chicago will make good on them at the higher rate. And we’ll still have water and sewer, police and fire, garbage pickup and pothole repair.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Emanuel is perfect for teh Windy City.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. Chicago trash is what Emanuel is

    there’s absolutely nothing I can do to help

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  23. The one thing Chicago can’t withstand is a population drop. That’s what bankrupted Detroit – and General Motors (drop in number of employees)

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)

  24. No, what bankrupted Detroit was 50 years of bad government. You’ve had industrial decline elsewhere (Eastman Kodak’s workforce has in thirty-odd years declined by 89% in my home town), but not the catastrophe that is Detroit. Allowing a homicide rate of 48 per 100,000 (v. 20 per 100,000 in a normal core city and the 5 per 100,000 enjoyed by pre- de Blasio New York) will do that to you.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  25. 23. ” Chicago can’t withstand is a population drop.”

    Too late.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  26. If you’re an Executive who want to get things done, it also helps that city councils are not bicameral. Imagine how much Obama could have passed in 2009-2010 if there were only a House, ruled by Pelosi. (Note I am very much not advocating a unicameral legislature.)

    David Pittelli (b77425)

  27. The one thing Chicago can’t withstand is a population drop. That’s what bankrupted Detroit –

    For some reason, that comment calls to mind a person observing a particular situation and then asking something along the lines of: “And other than THAT, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” Or: “And other than THAT, Mrs Kennedy, how was Dallas?”

    Moreover, in case anyone wants to put a racial spin on the debacle that is Detroit, and ignore the corroded nature of its populace’s ideology (ie, where over 90-plus percent of Detroiters are blindly, idiotically loyal to liberals/Democrats), the following pertains to a nation whose demographics are overwhelmingly of European/white descent, but whose mindless leftism through the decades hasn’t been all that different from what’s found in the city of Detroit.

    en.mercopress.com, April 7, via drudgereport.com: The governor of Argentina’s largest, richest and most populated province declared a 12-month state of emergency following an outbreak of lynching by furious citizens who feel defenceless and ‘overwhelmed’ by crime. The situation has become a major political issue with magistrates and the Church calling for restrain.

    “This is a fight to defend the most sacred, life” governor of Buenos Aires province Daniel Scioli said and called on “all political forces” to coordinate efforts in the battle against crime. Escorted by all of his cabinet ministers, Scioli held a press conference in the City of La Plata to declare a 12-month security emergency in the province which represents over 35% of the electorate registry.

    Among other measures, is the “immediate call” to retired agents from both the provincial police and penitentiary system to rejoin prevention actions aiming at a 5,000-member force.

    The Scioli administration will be as well submitting several bills to the provincial legislature, such as a project to “limit prisoners’ release” in a process to be “oral and public” and another one that involves “effective prison terms” in cases of unauthorized weapon carrying.

    Magistrates are accused of being too lenient with criminals, but they argue that they need legislation and the situation has triggered the debate whether further stronger police powers and more strict sentencing is the solution to the challenge.

    Mark (14c5d3)

  28. The Detroit population drop, of course, was caused by all the other problems, especially the high crime.

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)


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