According to NBC News, Rahm Emanuel has accepted the job of Chief of Staff in the Obama White House. Everyone I’ve talked to or heard from, save Joe Scarborough, thinks this is a fantastic pick. Emanuel is smart, hard nosed, and knows how to get things done. While I have some disappointment in Emanuel’s abandonment of his quest to become Speaker of the House, it should be a fantastic partnership.
I heard Colin Powell’s name floated …. *not* by the campaign … as a possibility for Secretary of Education this morning. Thoughts?
Update: 10 minutes later, NBC News reports that Emanuel’s spokesperson denies that he has accepted the job. Interesting ….
Update: 11.6 12:54 NBC News “confirmed” that Emanuel has accepted the job. He apparently has been thinking this over since June. With the chaos over the last 24 hours surrounding his on-the-fence position over this appointment, he almost couldn’t have turned it down. I sympathize with his family’s position and wish them well on the transition.
Joining Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, George Will and other neanderthals on that “Powell-endorsed-
Armstrong Williams and Cheney at the Clarence Thomas book signing party
because-he-and-Obama-are-both-black” bandwagon is, perhaps, an unlikely candidate: conservative commentator Armstrong Williams. From his piece on The Hill’s blog:
But as much as I admire and respect him, Powell made the wrong choice yesterday. Unless he’s changed his party affiliation, Gen. Powell is still a Republican, and Sen. Obama is as liberal as they come. Just ask yourself this: If there were a white liberal Democrat running for president against McCain, would Gen. Powell’s decision been any different? Would his announcement on “Meet the Press” been any less prominent? The point is it’s easy to get caught up in the potential significance of this election, and I think that’s what happened with Gen. Powell. (emphasis mine)
I’d think that Mr. Williams would know better. By the by, in a video on his website (Oct 20 video commentary), Mr. Conservative Williams says he still hasn’t decided whether he will vote for McCain or Obama. I’d think that with his criticism of Powell, he didn’t leave himself much room.
On Meet the Press this morning, Colin Powell did, indeed, endorse Obama. When the tape is available, I’ll put it here. Powell cited Obama’s judgement, ability to cross lines, willingness to bring people together, and eloquence in his endorsement. He admitted his profound respect for John McCain, but spoke of issues with McCain’s judgement on the economic crisis and the tenor of his campaign, among other things.
I’m not sure how I feel about Powell’s endorsement. Powell’s endorsement of the war was the thing that swayed me. I lost a lot of respect for him after that. Am I pleased that he is endorsing? Sure. Do I think that he should have had the courage to come out earlier? Absolutely. He could have come out earlier and hit the campaign trail. Of course, this will control the news cycle for a day or so, at a critical time in the waning days of this campaign. I’ll think on this some more and post later. If you have thoughts, please share.
**As promised, here’s the tape:
**Update: I expected the likes of Rush Limbaugh to blame Powell’s endorsement on tribal politics, but I really didn’t think that Pat Buchanan would go on MSNBC and claim the same. That, he did, though, on tonight’s “special edition” of Hardball. He also, by the by, blamed John Lewis’ “abandonment” of Hillary Clinton for Obama on the same. I’ve said it before and will keep blowing this trumpet: that old pol needs to ride off into the sunset. His time has passed.
The New York Daily News has endorsed Obama for President. From the endorsement:
Millions of Americans vest great hope in Barack Obama – and there is good reason why. It has been a long time since many have felt the government was in their corner. And here came an accomplished, fresh figure – a black man, at that – with plans for restoring the faith.
The agenda is sweeping, but the theme is clear. Whether on tax fairness or health care or the cost of college, Obama pushes the balance toward the working and middle classes and those further down the ladder.
To be sure, this endorsement is filled with praise for McCain and questions for Obama. But in the end, the Daily News comes to this:
In sum, we are banking on practicality trumping political dogma in an Obama White House. The fantasy that the U.S. can move toward energy independence without fully committing to domestic drilling and nuclear power must be banished. The reality that America can’t make strides toward universal health care without fiscal discipline elsewhere must sink in.
At this critical juncture, the nation must elect a President who will renew bipartisanship and hard-headed pragmatism to rescue America’s standard of living, secure the country from global threats, whether of arms or of climate, and lay a foundation to meet 21st century challenges.
That is our hope for Barack Obama.
Endorsements have also come from The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer , and The Oregonian in Portland. This brings the editorial endorsement tally to about 66 Obama v. 18 McCain. The Editor & Publisher says the NYT should be endorsing Obama tomorrow. Not shocking, no? Colin Powell is scheduled to be on Meet the Press in the morning and rumor’s been circulating for days that he may endorse, as well. We’ll see.