Rahm Emanuel: January 2009 Archives

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama will be able to do things at "warp speed that no other president has been able to do in a long time," John Podesta, the co-chairman of the Obama transition team told me, basing his assessment "on the way he ran his campaign, the way he ran his transition."

Obama's smooth transition -- with only a few bumps along the way -- is the result of an organizational effort that began quietly last August when Podesta signed on. Big-picture thinking about what an Obama White House would look like started back in April, with Obama looping in just a few people.

Obama takes the oath of office Tuesday as the 44th president of the United States at a time when the economy is bad and Obama, in speeches, keeps warning that the situation will get worse.

Podesta, a Chicago native who grew up in Jefferson Park, served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Podesta told the Chicago Sun-Times the top task in the first 100 days of the Obama administration is "to get this recovery package through the Congress."

"We need to get jobs stabilized and grown again, and so I think it's going to be all hands on deck to try to move that recovery bill through. It's big, it's complicated, but it's aimed at the right questions: energy, education, restoring the infrastructure in the country and health care.

"Those are bridges to long-term goals of the Obama administration, so that it is critical that that get done and it get done quickly, and I'm quite confidant that it will be done before Presidents Day," Podesta said.

On other matters:

• • Obama may have a team of rivals in his Cabinet and top White House staff -- but he won't tolerate rivalry. Obama "demands" teamwork, Podesta said.

"The people who develop rivalries in the Obamaland? They don't do so good. You may not have noticed that during the course of the campaign. But people who are shooting at each other? They tend to get iced out," Podesta told me.


Chicago Sun-Times Political Reporter

CHICAGO--The two-tiered dias at which 19 Democratic ward and township committeemen sat Saturday at the Zam Zam Banquet Hall on the Northwest Side looked like a wedding head table. There was elegant white bunting and mirrored walls, and canopied tables with coffee and cookies and doughnuts sat off to the side.

But none of the five would-be grooms could quite muster the 50 percent-plus-1 of the weighted vote to be officially joined to the Democratic Party of Cook County as slated candidate to replace former Rep. Rahm Emanuel.

So it's every man or woman for himself or herself for the next 50 days, in this abbreviated primary election likely to determine who will represent Emanuel's district in Congress.Emanuel has given up his seat to become President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff.

Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th), Mayor Daley's unofficial floor leader, had said as late as Friday night that he had close to enough votes to wrap up the endorsement, and he had pleaded with his fellow committeemen not to "shirk their responsibility" by declaring an "open primary." That's what backers of State Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago, had sought .

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Lynn Sweet

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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Rahm Emanuel category from January 2009.

Rahm Emanuel: December 2008 is the previous archive.

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