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

Source: Emanuel to be chief of staff

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. in Canada

    Hillary has already publicly stated that she want's to stay in her present position in the Senate and do the work that is so needed there.

    November 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Republican not buying it..

    John Boehner is a blowhard that is now irrelevant – so I guess he'll go cry in front of congress again? Go away, John, no one is listening any more.

    Good choice in my opinion.

    November 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. IowaMom

    To Conservatives Fight Back:

    Our President veruses Yours? I do not think Bush has done a good job by any means and I did not vote for him, but I still consider him to be my President. How can we come together as a nation when people think this way? If McCain had won, he'd be my President and I would respect that.

    November 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. John in Ohio

    I like Raph Emanuel, but the guy looks like an undertaker.

    Not that Karl Rove looked any better, mind you.

    November 6, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Greg in MN

    Sounds to me like Boehner is a bit scared of Emanuel. He's no nonsense sort of guy, but in the direction that Obama wants to go.

    The GOP (and Dem leaders on the Hill for that matter) better get used to the idea of working in a government that will try to get things done from now on.

    Good call Pres-Elect Obama!

    November 6, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Mickie

    If he were to pick all inexperienced people the republicans would be deriding him for that. Sounds like sour grapes to me, especially since Clinton's presidency was so successful.

    November 6, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. hometowndemocrat

    Conservatives fight back.......

    Not all of us Democrats trashed Bush even though we did not agree with him. Some of us took the high road and gave him the respect that the office of the president deserves. Why don't you give that a try?

    Oh, and by the way he is everyones president, not just OURS......that includes you too.

    November 6, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Dandelion.

    DuncanM, he is JEWISH, you idiot.

    November 6, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Same as it ever was...

    Another former Clinton-ite.... just as predicted, the "change" he touted was just a replay of the Clintons regime... hope the USA can survive this bout... we barely got through "W"...

    November 6, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. heh

    so the first guy he hires is Jewish born of Israeli parents. So much for the muslim terrorist, "he's anti-Israel" argument.

    November 6, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. rm


    You said you will never accept Obama as your president. What country are you moving to and when??

    November 6, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. jake

    "Smart choice. This is the first step in restoring the prosperity similar to the Clinton era."

    Uh, I think we can blame a lot of our lack of prosperity on Clinton.

    November 6, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Steve from York

    Emmanuel has the skill and temperament for this position, and Obama has the good judgment to know that. Boehner obviously has none of those traits for his position, as evidenced by his performance during the initial legislative "bailout " fiasco.

    November 6, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Alex

    My goodness.....the guy just gets picked for a new job and the Republicans are already crying foul. No wonder the Republicans lost the election...they're a bunch of crybabies on top of being inept and incapable of doing the job.

    November 6, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Clay

    There has been a large amount of criticism directed at President Bush due to his actions and inactions while in office. That coupled with the widespread losses Republicans have experienced in Federal government all but guarantee that President elect Obama will be criticized throughout his tenure regardless of how well or poorly he may do. However there is no need to start the criticisms already. Chief of Staff is a trusted position that works closely with the president and while I am sure President Obama will likely include Republicans in many higher level positions, his appointments will be based on what the administration feels is needed from each position and the candidates qualifications. So he chose a Democrat for Chief of Staff. Deal with it and realize this constant partisan bickering is exactly what the American people just voted against

    November 6, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Janis

    It is a great pick!

    November 6, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Will somebody please tell Joe Scarbough so that he will stop whinning?

    November 6, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. shifting paradigm

    this selection is exactly in line with what president elect obama promised the electorate....a qualified individual who has no problem letting the president elect know how he feels about an issue - whether he agrees or disagrees...emanuel is arguably one of the most effective members of congress over the last four years and will be instrumental in the actual governance needed to execute changes over the next several years....seems obama is going to make selections based on credentials - not patronage like many of the recent chief of staff appointees have been

    as for rep. boehner - if he spent less time crafting partisan talking points and more time paying attention, he would know that emanuel is a centrist whom has challenged the lefties on the democratic side of the aisle since his days in the clinton administration....can't wait to see how rep. boehner and others start responding when republicans start filling spots in the obama administration....although i'm sure he and others are prepared to undermine the credibility of such republican colleagues as well....

    November 6, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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