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Rahm It Through

Representative Emanuel on Joementum, Hillary, and a “bipartisan” Dem takeover.

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As head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel may be the linchpin of the Dems’ plans to take over the House, but “Rahmbo” claims the high ground in his new book, The Plan: Big Ideas for America, a collection of “bipartisan” policy suggestions co-written with fellow former Clinton aide Bruce Reed. He talked to Boris Kachka.

Is this a Democratic platform?
No. This is something two guys who once opened up a paint store in Little Rock, Arkansas, came together to write. This is not for ’06. I think it will be plagiarized in the ’08 election.

How can you be fighting for a Democratic takeover and claiming to be beyond politics?
Look, we’ve had a president who has practiced the art of division; we’re offering an art of consensus. It is what we did in the nineties: welfare reform, balanced budget, nafta, all bipartisan.

What about Joe Lieberman?
If at any point in time he’d said, “I am for the war, but it has been conducted poorly and I want people held accountable who conducted it,” he never would have had a primary.

Are bloggers too powerful?
Do I think they’re important? Yes. Do I think the [bloggers] and Al Sharpton alone are the future of the Democratic Party? No! Welcome in, contribute, but it’s about winning in November and moving the country forward, not about a firing squad in a circle.

Is Hillary Clinton electable as president?
Uh, yeah. Mmm-hmm.

Is she making the right moves—flag-burning legislation and all that?
First of all, she’s focused on the Senate race, etc. And she’s laying out the right policy positions for what would be a presidential campaign, as others are.


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