Management is how I paid the rent all my life. It's what I did and I was good. No one needed to tell me because I knew. Management, like politics, is the art of the possible. My job was very small potatoes, but my potato patch was very well-run. The reason I know is when I visit my cafeteria years after leaving I find the same excellent staff that I left behind, still doing good work for a new boss. Employees I hired and retained still work for the same company decades later. That's all the evidence I need.
I became an Obama supporter because I like his management style. Chosing the right people are the most important decisions he makes. In addition to that gift, two or three original ideas a year will put him light years ahead of others. His choices between now and January will have a greater impact on the coming years than any other decisions he will make as president. I wish more people could grasp that simple idea.
Here are two links to must-read/ must-see sources for anyone seeking to understand Rahm Emanual (and so one dimension of Barack Obama's multi-faceted mind).
C-SPAN replayed last week Roast of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) (September 20, 2005).
Good luck finding it. I can't figure out how to link to a specific video file without going through the main page. It's listed at the moment under "recent programs" but when it is no longer "recent" it may vanish. I dunno.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) was honored in September of 2005 for his work with Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) and his commitment to finding a cure for epilepsy. Among the speakers at the event were Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT).
The event was introduced by Susan Axelrod, wife of David Axelrod, one of Obama's closest advisors. Their interest in epilepsy is deeply personal because they have a child who is a victim of this terrible disorder, the effects of which can range from treatable snd benign to untreatable to the point of death. The event runs an hour and fifty minutes, but it is worth watching to help understand the backstories of both Barack Obama and Rahm Emanual. It is no accident that stem-cell research appears as an early priority for the new administration. (I'm not sure but this may be the "baby-killing" I heard about from shrill critics before the election.)
Obama's remarks appear a 44 minutes.
Rahm Emanuel's remarks are at the end, 1:54, but the real meat of the evening is buried in the remarks of the guests who "roasted" him. My favorite was someone's description of him as someone who would not stab you in the back. He won't go behind your back, he'll stab you in the stomach. But through it all he comes across as a very cunning operator allied with and respected by all the right people.
A reading recommendation comes from Foreigh Policy Magazines "Must-Reads" a New York Times piece The Brothers Emanuel by ELISABETH BUMILLER, Published: June 15, 1997 .
It prints out to six or seven pages and I am about to read it entirely at my leisure. A few snips have already caught my eye.
...Rahm Emanuel is, at 37, one of the most powerful people at the White House. [this was written over ten years ago.] He is also the middle brother of two similar tank commanders: Ariel Emanuel, 36, a relentless Hollwyood television agent who left International Creative Management under cover of darkness to create a rival firm, and Ezekiel Emanuel, 39, an oncologist (with a doctorate in political theory) who is a nationally known medical ethicist at Harvard and a leading opponent of assisted suicide.
Together, Emanuel Freres are a triumvirate for the 90's. All are rising stars in three of America's most high-profile and combative professions. All understand and enjoy power, and know how using it behind the scenes can change the way people think, live and die. All have been called obnoxious, arrogant, aggressive, passionate and committed. All three get up before dawn. All are the sons of an Israeli father, now a 70-year-old Chicago pediatrician, who passed secret codes for Menachem Begin's underground. Iregun, and an American Jewish mother, who worked in the civil rights movement and owned, briefly, a Chicago rock-and-roll club. All three also worry about a less successful Emanuel: Shoshana, 23, their adoptive siser, who crash-landed into the family at the age of 8 days, when the brothers were in their teens.
The Boys went to summer camp in Israel, and reveled in the family lore: in 1933, after their uncle Emanuel Auerbach was killed in a skirmish with Arabs in Jerusalem, the family changed its last name to his first, as a tribute. Political passions always ran deep. Raham still remembers the time his mother and her father got into such a furious argument at the dinner tble over Henry Wallace and the 1948 split of the Democratic Party - a quarter century after the fact - that father threw daughter out of the house. ''And it was her house,'' Rahm says. ''I thought, 'This is nutty.' ''
This is delightful stuff and I'm looking forward to reading it in depth.
Somewhere in the C-CPAN roast video someone made mention of Rahm Emanuel's time in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force. Instantly I had a flash of Obama's reference to some yet to be defined "civilian defense" to augment the traditional branches of the Defense Department. It was an aha moment for me because I have thought and written about a return of the military draft since I began blogging.
Those with reservations about Obama's position regarding Israel need to take note. He has not only named Rahm Emanuel, whose Israeli credentials look pretty impressive to me, as his top gun, he seems to be contemplating something like Israel's model of national service for young people applied in the USA.
We already have the National Guard, organized under individual state authorities with state governors as their respective commanders in chief. But where were those forces when needed to come to the assistance of hurricane victims in Louisiana or Texas, or fight fires in California? Away at war, maybe?
So what would be the downside of a true, even larger "National" guard, federal in concept, consisting of trained reserves to be called to acive duty when needed, but spending most of their time at civilian employment? How will flag-waving, pro-guns, super-patriots come to terms with that?
The Army National Guard (ARNG) is one component of The Army (which consists of the Active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.) The Army National Guard is composed primarily of traditional Guardsmen -- civilians who serve their country, state and community on a part-time basis (usually one weekend each month and two weeks during the summer.) Each state, territory and the District of Columbia has its own National Guard, as provided for by the Constitution of the United States.
The National Guard has a unique dual mission that consists of both Federal and State roles. For state missions, the governor, through the state Adjutant General, commands Guard forces. The governor can call the National Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, fires, earthquakes or civil disturbances. [ed. when available]
In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard for participation in federal missions. Examples of federal activations include Guard units deployed to Kosovo and the Sinai for stabilization operations, and units deployed to the Middle East and other locations in the war on terrorism. When federalized, Guard units are commanded by the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating.
Did somebody say something about jobs? Lots of jobs?
Hmm. Just thinking out loud.
Update, same day...
Woo-hoo! Seems like Mr. Emanuel did an interview a couple of years ago outlining what may be Obama's "civilian service" model. Looks like the National Guard to me. Here's a link to the video/audio... replete with snarky captions underscoring the most frightening parts of the transcript, as well as a couple of editorial additions.
The folks at Red Tide are among many who have the link. (Interesting. Their http handle is "massachusetts for huckabee.") The comments thread at Gateway Pundit has a few people scrooched up over the notion of mandatory national service.
Those of us drafted over forty years ago didn't like the idea either but we had to go along. And we who didn't get killed have had forty years to think it over. I find it amusing that those on the right seem to be having trouble with the concept.
I registered as a conscientious objector which sealed my MOS as a medical corpsman. That option is still on the books for those who have objections to bearing arms. If such a plan goes through we'll have a chance to see how patriotism plays out when the rubber hits the road.
Yo, Patriots. How ya'll feel about putting young people where your mouths have been? I don't think it's a bad idea at all. With the economy and unemployment at historic bad places this could kill two birds with one stone. Er, excuse me...sorry about that...poor figure of speech.