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Rahm Emanuel on Principles & Values

Democratic Rep. (IL-5); Chief of Staff-Designee


Political fundraiser & strategist, before running for House

The average House member came to Congress after becoming a respected community leader--a prominent attorney, perhaps, or a state senator. Emanuel, in contrast, had spent twenty years getting his hands dirty in politics--raising money, studying polls, crafting attacks, planning strategy. He had done this at a relatively low level--in high school he had walked the streets for former Chicago congressman Abner Mikva--and at the highest, as President Bill Clinton's senior advisor.
Source: The Thumpin': Rahm Emanuel, by Naftali Bendavid, Chapter 1 May 8, 2007

Ran the Dems' DCCC House campaign after 2004 electoral loss

It was against the backdrop [of the 2004 electoral losses] that Nancy Pelosi, who'd been in Congress for 17 years and leader of the House Democrats for 2, called Rahm Emanuel, the volatile 2nd-term congressman from Chicago, and asked him to run the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Pelosi faced significant pressure to choose someone other than Emanuel to bring this about. Members of Congress valued seniority, and Emanuel, first elected just 2 years earlier, was a newcomer.

Pelosi chose Emanuel anyway. The two had known each other since 1987 when Pelosi won her first congressional race, and Pelosi was keenly aware of Emanuel's ability to raise money. Most important, Emanuel was known to be tireless, aggressive, and pushy. P

Source: The Thumpin': Rahm Emanuel, by Naftali Bendavid, Chapter 1 May 8, 2007

2004: Planned four-year process to recapture House for Dems

In December 2004, [after the large Democratic electoral loss, Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel began work on the 2006 Democratic House campaign]. Emanuel warned Pelosi there was no way the Democrats could win the House in 2006. At best, he said, they would capture a few seats and perhaps finish the job in the 2008 election cycle. "Nancy, the truth is, rather than keep telling people we're going to take back the House, we have to start realizing this is a two-cycle process," Emanuel said. He reminded Pelosi that the Republicans had captured nine Democratic House seats in 1992, setting the stage for their 54-seat blowout two years later. Similarly, he thought, a handful of Democratic wins in 2006 could pave the way for retaking the House in 2008. Undaunted by this pessimistic forecast, Pelosi on January 9 officially named Emanuel to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, putting her future in his hands.
Source: The Thumpin': Rahm Emanuel, by Naftali Bendavid, Chapter 1 May 8, 2007

Three pre-teen children: Zachariah, Ilana, and Leah

In December 2004, when Emanuel was appointed head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democrats had a bleak political outlook. Emanuel explained that [he accepted the difficult task because] it would be even harder for him to do it in future years, when his three young children--Zachariah, Ilana, and Leah--were older. "Given my background in politics, having worked at the DCCC and the White House and campaigns, I was never going to get through my life in the House and not do this," Emanuel said. "So I made a determination that I wanted to get it done while the kids are nine, seven, and six, rather than have this job when they're twelve, eleven, and ten. There's a difference. There is a higher-than-normal suicide rate among members' kids, when you look at it on a per capita basis. And nothing is that important. I'm going to be around for them."
Source: The Thumpin': Rahm Emanuel, by Naftali Bendavid, Chapter 1 May 8, 2007

Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism.

Emanuel adopted the manifesto, "A New Politics for a New America":

As New Democrats, we believe in a Third Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms America’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all.