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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rahm Emanuel: If anyone's aloof it's not Obama, but the media



emanuel.jpgBuzz caught up with Chicago Mayor and former Barack Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel while he was campaigning in Tampa today and heading for south Florida to do the same.

With the final debate on foreign policy taking place in Boca Raton Monday, Emanuel scoffed at the suggestion that Mitt Romney can persuade voters Obama is not a strong enough ally of Israel: "You have defense secretary Ehud Barak - a former prime minister, the most decorated soldier in Israel’s history - and let me just quote him: "No president has ever been better for Israel’s national security and cooperation between our national security apparatus and Israel’s national security than President Obama."

Emanuel also pushed back on the media narrative that Obama is aloof, and doesn't especially like mixing it up with people : "You guys are the ones who keep saying, 'Oh, he's not approachable.' That's not what the American people say. I think maybe you guys should evaluate where you're coming from. Maybe it's you. Maybe it's the elite journalists who aren't all that approachable."

What's a second Obama term look like? "Obama's next term: We have been for a decade at war. It's now time to build America, and I think the investments in education, groundbreaking scientific research, our infrastructure are going to be critical investments and tax fairness that will allow us to grow."

Is there any reason to think Washington and Congress will be less gridlocked and dysfunctional after the election? "Here's the deal. After an election, they're going to have to get functional. ... Everybody knows what's going to have to get done, and an election also has meaning and it has clarity. We spent '96 after the government shut down beating the crap out of each other, Bill Clinton got elected and it's not like it was a nice election. And on we went to get a balanced budget agreement."

On the electoral map: "I kind of describe this as six turbo-charged gubernatorial races - one in Ohio, one in Florida and then you've got Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia," he said suggesting that Nevada likely goes with Obama and North Carolina with Romney.


[Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 9:38am]


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