Rahm and Obama politicking….
Rahm Emanuel publicly mulled over Obama’s offer to ABC’s Chicago affiliate Thursday:
“Now, my view is, I have obviously two great opportunities, as you know, before me,” Emanuel said. “I have to make a decision about my family. I’ve been in the White House. I used to joke in the White House that on Fridays, I would say: it’s two more workdays till Monday. When I was in the White House, I didn’t have children. I do know something about the White House, and I do have children now. I have a family.
“And so you weigh these–what is the opportunity for your children, and what is the cost? And then you weigh, obviously, the choice if I have this offer, what do I want to do? And so I know–first of all, I’m honored even to be considered. I’m honored, as I say, to be re-elected. These are uptown choices. This is not a professional choice. This is a personal choice about what my wife & I want to do for our family, as much as what to do with my career.
“Just so you know, when I chose to run for Congress, I took months to think about it. This is being asked in a few days.
“I got a lot to weigh: my commitment to my country, my commitment to public service and why I got into this, as well as what I want to do as a parent. I’m honored. And I appreciate this. I have a lot to weigh: the basis of public service, which I’ve given my life to, a career choice. And most importantly, what I want to do as a parent. And I know something about the White House. That I assume is one of the reasons that President-elect Obama would like me to serve. But I also know something about what it means to a family.”
President-elect Barack Obama pivoted quickly to begin filling out his new administration on Wednesday, selecting hard-charging Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff while aides stepped up the pace of transition work that had been cloaked in pre-election secrecy.
Several Democrats confirmed that Emanuel had been offered the job. While it was not clear he had accepted (his office denied an MSNBC report that he had), a rejection would amount to an unlikely public snub of the new president-elect within hours of an electoral college landslide.
With hundreds of jobs to fill and only 10 weeks until Inauguration Day, Obama and his transition team confronted a formidable task complicated by his anti-lobbyist campaign rhetoric.
The official campaign Web Site said no political appointees would be permitted to work on “regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”
We should see the rest of the cabinet choosings over the next week or so so watch this space!