We’ve been tracking the political activities of Rahm Emanuel for years now, watching as he played insider political games to his personal benefit, using his connections in the Clinton White House to get him a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and then move unusually fast to become the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Using that position, Representative Emanuel bumped out locally-focused candidates for Congress, replacing them with candidates that he recruited himself from the national level.
In order to move the Democrats, and himself, into a position of power, Rahm Emanuel routinely voted in defiance of his Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution, and in contradiction to the progressive values of Democratic constituents. If Rahm Emanuel had to choose between a difficult but principled path and a path of political expediency, he most often chose the path of political expediency.
This character of unprincipled ambition in Rahm Emanuel’s political career has now reached what I hope will be its zenith. Shortly after being announced as Barack Obama’s choice for White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel has been linked to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s political corruption. Blagojevich appears to have used his power as Governor to appoint the successor to Barack Obama’s Senate seat in order to solicit bribes. Rahm Emanuel, it turns out, served as a liaison with Blagojevich to discuss the successor to Obama, even offering several suggestions.
Has Rahm Emanuel committed a crime? I don’t know. Did Emanuel conspire with Blagojevich in a bribery-for-public-office scheme? I’m not in a position to say.
Having watched how Rahm Emanuel works for several years, however, I am in a position to say that if Rahm Emanuel is found to have engaged in criminal corruption with Rod Blagojevich, I won’t be a bit surprised.