Rating Obama’s Cabinet — Unifiers or Dividers?
While listening to Barack Obama’s eloquence in his victory speech made at Chicago’s Grant Park Tuesday night, I was struck once again how good this wordsmith and performer is at delivering rhetorically beautiful oratory. After I hear the speeches, I always have to go back and see if the latest oratory gives us any further substantive information regarding the man who will be our next President. According to BBC News, the speech can be broken down into the following parts:
- Change Has Come
- Partners in the Journey
- Victory for the People
- The Task Ahead
- Remaking the Nation
- One Nation, One People
- America in the World
- A History of Struggle
- This is Our Moment
As someone who did not support Obama, one part of the speech that was interesting to me was how Barack Obama plans to unify all of us including those of us who actively opposed him. In the portion of the speech regarding One Nation, One People, Obama said:
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.
Those are values that we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours: “We are not enemies, but friends… though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.
This theme of unifying the Nation has been a recurrent one throughout the Obama campaign. It began when he said there are not red states nor blue states but the United States of America as he criss crossed the country stumping his candidacy. So when he repeated this theme Tuesday night wanting to be our president too, I immediately thought that one way to judge the validity of this statement was to track and evaluate whether or not he brings unifiers to his administration or those who have a history of partisanship and division.
This post will continually be added to as Barack Obama appoints staff and cabinet members, but we have our first official appointment today of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff. Let’s see how Rahm does in the unifier divider test.
In the Associated Press article entitled “Emanuel Accepts Job as White House Chief”
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic officials say Barack Obama’s fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel has agreed to be White House chief of staff.
One of Obama’s first decisions as president-elect was to ask the Illinois congressman to run his White House staff. Emanuel accepted Thursday after struggling over family and political considerations.
Emanuel serves in the House Democratic leadership and will have to resign his seat and put aside hopes of becoming House speaker.
Emanuel is a fiery Democrat who served as a political and policy aide in the Clinton White House.His selection is a shift in tone for Obama, who chose more low-key leadership for his presidential campaign.
There’s one thing that bothers me about him. It’s his ego. He doesn’t sublimate his ego in favor of others very easily, and it’s what I’ve observed from my interactions with him.
I’ll let you decide for yourself whether Rahm Emanuel is a unifier or a divider, but here are some links of stories and videos to help you decide:
- Why Rahm Shouldn’t Get the Chief of Staff Job!— Daily Kos
- Clintonite Emanuel accepts Chief of Staff slot — The American Thinker
- New York Times Articles on Rahm Emanuel — The NY Times
- Rahm Emanuel: Pit Bull Politician— CNNMoney.com
- Obama Pick for Chief of Staff Criticized as Partisan Voice — The Wall Street Journal
- NBC: Rahm Emanuel accepts position as Obama’s chief of staff— HotAir.com
- The New Team – Rahm Emanuel — The New York Times
- Rahm Emanuel just a heart beat away from having a heart — Politico.com
- Are Rahm Emanuel and Tim Mahoney Covering up a Bribe?— TheNextRight.com
- 2005 Election Speech Where Democrats pick up seats in the House and Senate— YouTube
- Charlie Rose Interviews Rahm Emanuel— YouTube
- Rahm Emanuel on Chris Matthews’ Hardball— YouTube
My own analysis concludes that Rahm Emanuel is a hyper-partisan democrat. In evaluating the appointments of Barack Obama anyone who is hyper-partisan or far left leaning (not mildly partisan or mildly liberal) gains them classification as a divider rather than a unifier for it is difficult to be a unifier if you do not see or give some credence to the other side of the aisle.
Unifier/Divider Tally 0-1
- Rahm Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff) — Divider