The Big Split
March 14, 2012
In May 2007, when Barack Obama was but an upstart challenger of Hillary Clinton, he attended a gathering of several dozen hedge fund managers hosted by Goldman Sachs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was not a fund-raiser, just a chance for Obama to introduce himself to the investment wizards who had helped turn the hedge fund sector into the most lucrative and alluring corner of the financial universe. And the first question for Obama was as blunt as one would expect from this crowd.
Transformative Investments, Chicago Style
March 01, 2012
Sometimes if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. During his time as White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel was unable to push through President Obama’s proposal to establish a National Infrastructure Bank. The NIB would be a merit-driven approach for advancing a range of infrastructure projects that have the highest return on investment and support economic growth.
The Rise and Fall of Bill Daley: An Inside Account
January 18, 2012
When President Obama announced that Bill Daley would no longer serve as White House chief of staff, he pronounced himself chagrined by the move but explained that Daley had an understandable desire to return to Chicago. “In the end,” the president told reporters in the State Dining Room, “the pull of the hometown we both love—a city that’s been synonymous with the Daley family for generations—was too great.” As a face-saving gesture this may have been understandable, but as an explanation for Daley’s departure it strains credulity.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his support today for a city ordinance instituting a new curfew for children under twelve. If approved, the measure would institute an earlier curfew for kids under twelve and apply Chicago's existing curfew of 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends to kids between twelve and 16. Emanuel argues that instituting curfews is a matter of matching the city’s laws to sensible parenting, but he’s careful not to oversell their impact. “It doesn’t mean just because you have it, kids are going to be safe,” he cautioned.
The Next Daley
February 18, 2011
After trailing along with Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel on a Sunday morning last month, I got a chance to talk to him when we stopped at Bagel on Damen, a small coffee shop in Wicker Park that features fresh bagels and Stumptown coffee. Emanuel had just visited a church, a South Side restaurant, and a North Avenue bicycle store, at which he proposed going the Daley administration one better by adding 25 rather than eight miles a year to the city’s dedicated bike lanes.
The Escape Artist
February 10, 2011
How Timothy Geithner survived.
The NYT's Fuzzy Clintonite Math
January 07, 2011
I’m trying to understand the math in today’s NYT story by Michael Shear about Bill Clinton people in the Barack Obama Administration, begged to the announcements of Bill Daley as Chief of Staff and Gene Sperling to head the National Economic Council. Key quotes: The appointments add to the already significant ranks of Clintonites in Mr. Obama’s administration. Still, as some of Mr. Obama’s longtime advisers leave the White House, his decision to revamp his staff by tapping more veterans of Mr. Clinton’s administration is notable. Can we get a bit of a reality check?
A Rahm Appreciation (Updated)
October 01, 2010
Progressives convinced that the Obama Administration is too quick to compromise and too slow to confront Republicans like to blame Rahm Emanuel, in no small part because Emanuel so obviously disdains the left. Tim Fernholz of the American Prospect has a different view. The real problem, he says, is up the chain of command: Emanuel's most significant contribution to the Democratic Party as a staffer, legislator, and operative wasn't his pragmatism but his will to win and his organizational capacity.
What’s Eating David Axelrod?
September 27, 2010
Among the many distinctions David Axelrod has achieved in his career, there is one that requires special elaboration: He is, it turns out, one of the few customers to have ever run a tab at Manny’s, the Chicago cafeteria and deli. This is not because the odd knish ($4.25) or side of potato chips ($0.75) threatened to leave him cash-poor. It is, rather, because Axelrod has long styled himself someone who accumulates wisdom at places regular people frequent, not the lacquered haunts of downtown Washington. What the Oval Room is to Beltway consultant-dom, Manny’s is to Axelrod.
September 10, 2010
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett would like to make one thing exceedingly clear: The Obama administration is not bad for business. No way. No how. Not one little bit. “We are not anti-business,” the president’s chief liaison to the business community stresses to me over the phone one afternoon in late July, an edge of frustration ruffling her usually calm-as-cream voice.