Obama Uses Sophisticated Parenting Techniques to Get Rahm Emanuel to Stay

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Photo: Obama: Win McNamee/Getty Images, Emanuel: Brian Kersey-Pool/Getty Images

President Obama might not know how to get his new economic package passed or save his party from the midterm massacre. But he does know how to be a good dad. At the prospect that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, might leave to run for mayor of Chicago, Obama used a nuanced series of parenting tactics to convince him to wait until after the elections. “I think he would be an excellent mayor. He is an excellent chief of staff,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “[T]he one thing I've always been impressed with about Rahm is that when he has a job to do, he focuses on the job in front of him. And so my expectation is, he'd make a decision after these midterm elections. He knows that we've got a lot of work to do. I think he’d be a terrific mayor.” See, first, Obama starts with the confidence booster. Your mother and I always knew you could do it, Rahm. You've worked hard, son. You deserve it. Then he follows with some subliminal manipulation.

You know what's so great about you? You always do what needs to get done — without me even asking! After that, he pulls off a near-perfect I trust you to make the right decision, trailed by a reminder that There are no shortcuts in life, before closing with another pat on the back for good measure. Maybe this demonstration of fatherly competence will end Sasha and Malia's psychological warfare.

The Obama Presidency. Minute by minute. [Politico]