Showing that have learned nothing from being routed in two straight elections, the Republican National Committee and Minority Leader John Boehner each put out partisan statement’s criticizing Obama’s selection of Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff.
Alex Conant of the Republican National Committee said, “Barack Obama’s first decision as President-elect undermines his promise to ‘heal the divides’. Rahm Emanuel is a partisan insider who played a lead role in breaking Washington. The White House needs a chief of staff – not a chief campaigner like Emanuel. Our nation will be ill-served if Obama runs the White House the way ‘Rahmbo’ ran the Democratic Congress.”
Minority Leader John Boehner released a one sentence statement, “This is an ironic choice for a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center.” Somebody needs to tell the Republicans that the election is over, and they lost. It is time to move on. They need to figure out a more effective strategy then to sit on the sidelines and play the role of the grumpy minority. However, it looks like they are already planning to define Obama as a president of broken promises.
Republicans weren’t going to happy with anyone Obama chose, but they are especially unhappy with the rough and tumble Emanuel, who is not known for playing nicely. What the criticism of Emanuel looks like is more sour grapes from the GOP, but one thing is clear, even at this early stage, Obama’s transition seems to be organized than both of the previous two were. The Clinton transition was a complete debacle, and Bush transition was rushed and delayed by those hanging chads in Florida.
If there was one lesson to be learned by both parties from this election, it is that things have to change. The Republicans need to realize that the kind of red meat that they put out today appeals to their base, and only their base. It seems like they still don’t get it. If the GOP is going to rebuild and revive itself, it has to get away from its hyper-partisan behavior of the 1990s. They are a party that has completely melted down, and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Attacking the first high profile move of the president elect is not a winning start.