Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm Loves Joe. Does Joe Love Rahm?

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Rahm Loves Joe. Does Joe Love Rahm?
Rahm Loves Joe. Does Joe Love Rahm?

Getty Images

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden

advertisement

Is Rahm Emanuel in love with Joe Biden? The current issue of Time includes the magazine’s "Time 100," a list of the most influential people in the world. To Rahm’s undoubted disappointment, he’s not one of them. That happens when you leave Washington, D.C., to become a local political hack. But Rahm was asked to write an essay about someone more influential than himself: the vice president.

Vice President John Nance Garner once described his job as not being worth “a bucket of warm [urine].” According to Emanuel, the vice presidency is more often like a marriage between two people who get caught fooling around in a car by an angry father. Emanuel ran with that cliche, and came up with a few more of his own.

The partnership between any President and Vice President is like a shotgun wedding: Sometimes it works well. Most of the time, it does not. But the relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden is as successful a public partnership as I have ever seen.

They began as rival politicians who merged to form a ticket, which is not a prescription for harmony and close cooperation. But in my two years in the White House, I saw these onetime rivals become solid allies and then close friends. I saw a deep bond of trust grow between them, forged in a crucible of crisis.

Biden, 68, has been a wise counselor — unfailingly frank with the President behind closed doors and unwaveringly loyal on the public stage.

With 36 years of experience in the U.S. Senate and a wealth of relationships and insight, Biden has been an invaluable lieutenant on a wide variety of issues. And the President has trusted him with some of the most critical assignments, from the $787 billion Recovery Act to the transition in Iraq.

This is one shotgun wedding that works.

Maybe Emanuel is so fond of Biden because they bonded during a SuperSoaker fight early in the Obama Administration.

Unfortunately, Biden hasn’t been returning the love. On a recent trip to Moldova, he told a crowd that Emanuel and Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman both have Moldovan grandparents. Then he said, “I know this isn’t on the teleprompter, but she’s a heck of a lot better looking than Rahm Emanuel.”

Ouch.

Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!

Related Topics Rahm Emanuel
Leave Comments