I have always been more interested in U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan – what he is about and how he thinks about stuff – than any other of the president’s entourage because he seems real and he seem to really care without wearing it on his sleeve. He’s not the best speaker, and he’s not “colorful” or a “celebrity.” Nor does he cultivate that.
On the other hand reading in The Hill about the flak that Rahm Emanuel is getting for the “collapse of healthcare reform” seems only poetic justice. The Hill‘s Alexander Bolton notes:
The emerging consensus among critics in both chambers is that Emanuel’s lack of Senate experience slowed President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.
Bolton is probably right, but I’d like to think it is comeuppance for the mix of ego and the cultivation of some fake kind of celebrity. I mean, watching Emanuel play the wild “West Wing” persona always reminds me of times I was walking down Federal Hill in Providence as a teenager, where all the two-bit mafiosi wanna-bes pretended to be Sonny Corleone, or worse Carlo Rizzi from The Godfather. The puff piece by Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker sealed the deal for me.
According to Lizza, noting some criticism from Fidel Castro, Emanuel said
Well, you know, ever since I stopped sending him my holiday card he’s been ticked off. I don’t know what to think about it. Do you know what I’m thinking about? I’m going to finally get to see my kids after a month. So that’s all I give a fuck about.
Turn the TV off, Rahm, and spend some time with your kids.