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Rahm and gun control: pragmatic record

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WASHINGTON--As mayor of Chicago--where elected officials are expected to embrace gun control measures--Rahm Emanuel is an advocate of gun control. When he was chief of staff for President Barack Obama and the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he saw moving forward on gun legislation as an issue too hot to handle--and made sure Attorney General Eric Holder knew it.

The Emanuel record and the backstory recapped HERE

From Daniel Klaidman's Kill or Capture:

"Now Emanuel had his sights set on Holder. The attorney general had gotten off to a rocky start with the White House with his 'nation of cowards' speech. One week later, Holder stepped into it again. On February 25, (2009) Jim Messina, Emanuel's deputy, walked into his boss's office to inform him of Holder's latest 'gaffe.'At a press conference earlier that day, Holder had told reporters that the administration would push to reinstate the assault-weapons ban, which had expired in 2004. The comments roused the powerful gun lobby and its water carriers on Capitol Hill. 'Senators to Attorney General: Stay Away from Our Guns' read a press release issued by Senator Max Baucus of Montana-a Democrat, no less.

"Emanuel was furious. He slammed his desk and cursed the attorney general. Holder was only repeating a position Obama had expressed during the campaign, but that was before the White House needed the backing of pro-gun Democrats from red states for their domestic agenda. The chief of staff sent word to Justice that Holder needed to 'shut the fuck up' on guns..."

From Jake Tapper
: "The back story on this is important. Emanuel, as a congressman who chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (and as such helped recapture the House) came to understand that for many Democratic members of Congress is swing districts, supporting gun control was a liability. The "majority makers," as then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to call them, were often from rural or blue collar districts where the NRA was active."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 17, 2012 10:26 AM.

After Sandy Hook shootings, Durbin says we need "calm reflection on the Second Amendment" was the previous entry in this blog.

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