He’s name had been floated for awhile, but yesterday it became official as President elect Barack Obama selected Rahm Emmanuel as his chief-of-staff. Reader Morgan H. weighs in:
Looks like Obama picked Ari Emmanuel’s brother to be his Chief of Staff. In case you didn’t know, Ari Emmanuel is the founder of Endeavor, a well known agency here in LA. Ari Emmanuel reps Marky Mark among others Ari/Endeavor is who and what Ari Gold and his agency on Entourage is/are rumored to be based on. I can’t imagine what Yom Kippur gatherings must be like in that family. Especially if they play a “friendly” game of Monopoly or Acqui[re].
Now, imagine Ari Gold running the White House. Good times.
Honestly though, according to a bio of the Emmanuel brothers from the NYT that my brother, Matt L., dug up, Rahm comes across as a pragmatic centrist. His signature piece of policy whatever was helping push through Nafta.
As a free-tradist, this bit-o-news is encouraging. However, and conversely speaking, if he is more pragmatist than centrist (they are not the same thing), he may be ideally suited to unilaterally re-negotatiating Nafta per Obama’s twice stated campaign promise.
It doesn’t help that Democrats in Congress have experienced a bit of a ‘back-to-the-future’ of their own and have opposed free trade agreements with Colombia & South Korea. Additionally, their desire to eliminate unionizing by secret ballot indicates an altogether higher level of pandering to their Union donors–the likes of which hasn’t been seen around DC since unions actually mattered. You know, back in like 1980something.
This is one of my Big Problems with the Democrat Party–their complete ignorance of the economic gains to be had from free trade. Alternatively, maybe they’re not ignorant about the gains to be had an are just flat out selling their principles to the unions. Clearly, the latter optino is worse. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they just don’t know any better.
I do not buy the “better labor & environmental regulations” argument as their reasoning for opposing free trade. I think it’s a smoke screen of a type with the anti-genetically modified foods posture taken by the Europeans. They’re both crap reasons.
Let’s bring this back to where we started: I hope Obama’s choice of Rahm Emmanuel signals two things: Love for free trade and a pro-Israel foreign policy stance.
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