White House

Has Rahm Gotten a Bad Rap?

According to a Washington Post profile, Rahm Emanuel wanted to wait on health-care reform, was skeptical of closing Guantánamo Bay, opposed civilian trials for the 9/11 planners, and was “responsive” to Senator Olympia Snowe’s request to trim down the stimulus by $100 billion. It’s not difficult to see why liberals hate him, but could following his advice have helped President Obama’s approval ratings? Some Democratic insiders and leaders are increasingly criticizing the Obama administration for not listening more to Rahm, who is experienced on the Hill and worked in the Clinton White House. The article hints at a rift between Rahm and David Axelrod—the latter of whom Obama listened to on civilian trials for terrorists. "Axelrod has a strong view of the historic character Obama is supposed to be," a source close to the president says, adding that Obama has an "indifference to doing the small, marginal things a White House could do to mitigate the problems on the Hill. Rahm knows the geography better."