November 6th, 2008
12:56 PM ET
6 years ago

Source: Emanuel to be chief of staff

Emanuel, left will be Obama's chief of staff.
Emanuel, left will be Obama's chief of staff.

(CNN) - Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a former Clinton administration aide, has accepted the position of President-elect Obama's chief of staff, a Democratic aide tells CNN.

Watch: Jessica Yellin reports on Emanuel

House Minority Leader John Boehner criticized the choice of Emanuel - the man known for his tough-minded approach and widely credited with engineering large congressional gains for Democrats in the 2006 elections.

“This is an ironic choice for a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center," Boehner said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Jim Manley, a senior communications advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, praised the choice.

"An excellent choice. Rahm knows the Hill," he told CNN. "And he knows the White House. He is a brilliant strategic thinker and someone who knows how to get things done."

Related: Emanuel would bring 'tough minded' approach


Filed under: Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Valarie in Ohio

    I am so Godly proud of America and her citizens for doing what we all know was the right thing to do. It fills my heart with pride. Just as America has done the right thing and made the correct choice, President Obama will not let us down. He has used exceptional judgement over the past two years and he will continue to do so over the next 8 years. I am excited to see him surround himself with the most talented, qualified, dedicated, and loyal men and women of integrity. Go President Obama, I am with you every step of the way

    November 6, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. Enough

    Rahm Emmanuel is a smart committed no-nonsense public servant. He has no hidden agendas.
    John Boehner needs to chill – if the electorate had wanted same old business as usual in DC, we would have picked John McCain.

    Chill already!

    November 6, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Tylenol 666

    The Critisism is so errelevant!

    REEEMIX

    GOBAMA

    November 6, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. CL

    The mouth on some of you people. Get over it. Get a life!

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. claude.buissereth

    Reflecting on the day after the presidential election,2008.
    This morning, I tried very hard to put myself in the shoes of a young African slave, and woundered how would it be possible to dream a day, when a son of one of us, slaves, be the commander of chief.
    what a remarkable day is Nov, 5th, 2008!!!!
    Congratulation American!

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Rorschach

    What are you saying, Boehner? "Be reasonable – do it my way?"

    We've already had eight years of that. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Time for YOUR party to come to the center.

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Angie

    I guess the republicans have learned nothing from the whipping President-elect Obama put on them Nov 4th. They just can't be nice. I thing MOST of them have acid tongues. Too bad. What they should be doing is sitting back and taking notes on how to run a campaign and win a election.

    GO PRESIDENT OBAMA.
    OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Jay

    How can all of the sheep here keep spouting "change" when you have a Clinton crony and one of the longest running senators on his staff? What exactly will he change anyways? Will he come up with a new way to run the economy? Will he find a new way of being the Commander in Chief of the military? The president can change little in case you didn't know (and it looks like most of you here don't). Reid and Pelosi have the real power and they will bring the change you are asking for, though it will most likely not be the change you want. Higher energy costs, the "fairness doctrine" and gun rights going away is what we can expect over the next few years.

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Fenarkleman

    Emmanuel just better let Obama Administration folks go on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Oh, and don't let him dance. He's horrible at that.

    The Daily Show – the best F*&(king news team on television. WAY better than CNN and no phony holograms, either.

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Christopher W. Mannoia

    Awesome! How about a nice cabinet job for Hillary? She is a real professional, a real soldier, and President Obama would benefit from her help a great deal!

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Leo

    I was a McCain supporter so I may be a bit bias, but.....

    I are you supposed to CHANGE Washington by filling your administration with career politicians and Washington insiders? Next thing you know he will be making John Kerry his Secretary of State.

    I am starting to lose HOPE for Obama's promise of CHANGE,

    November 6, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Molly

    I am glad that Pres.-elect Obama is choosing a staff that will get things done. I am reserving judgement for when he actually gets in office, unlike all of the people who are attacking him before they've even seen results. I voted for Obama because I trust him. I am not going to start doubting him now.

    I'm with you, Mr. President(-elect)!

    November 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. J. in Houston

    So now the republicans want to complain about this choice too. Look the bottom line is that the Republicans are going to complain about anything and everything until the next presidential election.

    I believe they were hoping that Obama would not bring tough minded people with him. The choice for chief of staff is a good one. President Obama is making sure he surrounds himself with people who knows the process and can hold their own during the next term.

    November 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. blaising

    Republik party is still tryin' to figure out the controls on the "way back machine". Good luck with that.

    Oh...and if ya' hadn't noticed, GOP, the reason there's nobody around listenin' to ya' is 'cause America has left the building (as in moved on).

    Gawd, could you guys get any more irrelevant!!!

    November 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Pamela in N. Ga.

    EXCELLENT PICK!! I am SOOOOO excited for our country! You rock Rahm! Go Obama!

    November 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Tiff of Lithia Springs

    With all that is on Obama's inherited plate, he is going to have to take a disciplined approach to even get a portion done of what he wants. Sometimes you have to blend end before you can break free.

    November 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. v in ky

    Diversity is the key.. Keep it up Obama...

    November 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Bonnie in Wilmington NC

    I am no authority on this Mr. Emanuel, I'm just an older white lady from the south, and I don't really remember much of what all the discussion is about from way back when, so I will defer to my new leader, and believe that if he got this far in such a hard tough time, he must have some idea of how to continue the trek. I was a different person 10 years ago, and I know that time alters everyone, and I do mean everyone. Give Mr. Emmanuel a chance. So, "KEEP ON KEEPING ON" Mr President-elect. If all the rest of us were as smart as some think they are, they would be in your shoes right now instead of where ever they are. Got no time for arm chair quarterbacks and backseat drivers. To all of them, put your time and energy where your mouth is. This country will need help healing and growing, so find something that meets that criteria, and contribute some of yourself to it. Let the man get on with the business of fixing this mess. He's leading, so get out of the way. May your God/Spiritual Being bless America and bless us all.

    November 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Cynthia; Bham

    Congrats to Emanuel. I have every confidence that President Elect Obama will select the best people in his Administration.

    November 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Conservatives Fight Back

    I would not be surprised if CNN censors or omits any Anti obama comments, because God knows they omitted a ton of negative things about him during the campaign. The Wealth Redistribution radio show from 9-6-01 was not EVEN REPORTED. The Anti Coal comments, the Joe Biden Gaffes were downplayed. And the irony is, CNN wasnt even near as bad as MSNBC.
    We r watching CNN. Do you even have an ombudsman? We will do our best to drive you out of business because you violate the cardinal rule of journalism; you try to shape the story instead of report it.
    On the nice side, I do hope Obama does what he said he'd do, because it is so cockamamie when people find out about it they will feel the same as I do.

    November 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Fix the Broken

    From what I hear is that Rahm is no nonsense and a guy who says "Get things done or get lost".

    That's what we need right now.

    I am ok with this choice.

    November 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Brandon

    What I have noticed so far from all Republicans, especially the radio commentators is that they are in full support of Obama as long as he does what they want. So essentially they think they are so great that Obama should just ignore the fact that over half of the country voted for his ideas and switch to the Republicans ideas, which are the minority. We're just going to have to get used to it, Republicans always dig and dig and dig to try to oust Democrats, the fact that he apparently isn't allowed to pick a Democrat for a position in his administration shows just how quick they want to jump on him.

    November 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. 44th President

    Great pick! I prophesy that President Obama's presidency will have the greatest success in modern history, during our generation and this century. May God bless this administration and may God bless America!

    November 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. RUTH

    FYI
    Harry Truman was a VP from MO. He knew nothing about war or the world but he savrd all your sorry( not even thought of 0 Butts.
    I am not a Democrat but only later in life when I grew up did I realize how great he was at his job.
    Sarah Palin never had the chance to be VP but who knows if she learned enough and became President someday she wowould be well schooled.
    I have no respect for Democrats of today who say honor the office now tha they are in power when they didn't give President Bush a chance
    They showe such disrespect for this prsident I don't know whay anyone wants to run.
    Maybe now that their guy is tin office I hope he developes a thick skin he'Ll need it.
    But we Republicans Independents ect must show Respect Huh.?
    Well lets see him earn it
    WHICH I DOUBT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. Georgia Gal

    You know John Boehner is complaining because he feels this pick maybe too partisan, but in this particular position (maybe more so than any other) Obama needs someone that he can trust implicitly and without question and although I think Obama definetely needs to choose some Republicans for his team this is not the position to do it in (unless there happens to be a Republican that he can trust implicitly and without question and there isn't one that I can absolutely name that would be good for this position). I would've loved for Tom Daschle to be in this position, but I think this is a very good choice.

    November 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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