1. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and is a classically trained dancer.
2. The dead fish story is true -- although neither Emanuel nor pollster Alan Secrest like to talk about it publicly and it happened TWENTY years ago. (Old news folks; people change.)
3. He is on a first-name basis with every political reporter in Washington.
4. No one in Washington (with the possible exception of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham) better understands the give and take between politics and policy better than Emanuel.
5. He comes from a ridiculously accomplished family. One of his brothers -- Ezekiel -- is the chairman of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health while another brother -- Ari -- is a Hollywood agent and the basis for the character of "Ari Gold" on HBO's "Entourage." And, no, we are not kidding. [More on the three brothers here.]
6. He is a man comfortable with profanity. Extremely comfortable. And the more he swears at you, the more he likes you.
7. Although known as a relentless partisan warrior, he has made some friends and allies across the aisle. Witness this statement by Lindsey Graham: "Rahm knows Capitol Hill and has great political skills. He can be a tough partisan but also understands the need to work together. He is well-suited for the position of White House Chief of Staff."
8. The foremost Rahm scholar among reporters? Naftali Bendavid of the Chicago Tribune, who wrote a book entitled "The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution."
9. Advice to incoming White House staff from DCCC executive director Brian Wolff: "Develop a thick skin, cancel vacations, weddings and all personal appointments........ learn what the term 25/8 means......25 hours a day .....8 days a week......expect to be available."
10. Rahm's closest friend in Congress: Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro. (He lives in a basement apartment in DeLauro's house -- she is married to Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg -- during his time in Washington).
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Chief of Staff
Recently, the Fix provided "10 facts about Rahm Emanuel that tell you everything you need to know about the next White House chief of staff."