Rahm Emanuel Expected to Quit White House

Sunday, 20 Jun 2010 10:25 PM

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A British newspaper reported Sunday that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is expected to quit within six to eight months in frustration at the Obama administration’s unwillingness to "bang heads together" to get policy pushed through.

The story in the London Sunday Telegraph says that while Emanuel, 50, “enjoys a good working relationship with Mr Obama,” both men have reached an understanding that differences over style mean he will serve only half the full four-year term.

Emanuel’s friends tell the paper that he is also worried about burnout and losing touch with his young family due to the pressure of one of most high profile jobs in US politics.

"I would bet he will go after the midterms," a leading Democratic consultant in Washington tells the paper. "Nobody thinks it's working but they can't get rid of him – that would look awful. He needs the right sort of job to go to but the consensus is he'll go."

An official from the Bill Clinton era said that "no one will be surprised" if Mr Emanuel left after the midterm elections in November, when the Democratic party will battle to save its majorities in the house of representatives and the Senate.

The story depicts the clash as being between a “pragmatic Mr Emanuel, a veteran in Congress where he was known for driving through compromises,” and an ideological staff that supposedly is closer to the president’s goals and desires.

"It might not be his fault, but the perception is there," said the consultant, who asked not to be named. "Every vote has been tough, from health care to energy to financial reform.

"Democrats have not stood behind the president in the way Republicans did for George W Bush, and that was meant to be Rahm's job."

There were sharp differences over health care reform, with Emanuel arguing that public hostility about cost should have forced them into producing a scaled down package, according to the paper. But Obama and advisers including David Axelrod, the chief strategist, and Valerie Jarrett, a businesswoman and mentor from Chicago, decided to push through with grander legislation anyway.

Read the entire story at the Sunday Telegraph website.

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