By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Social conservatives expecting centrist policies in the Obama administration after repeated promises of “reaching across the aisle” may be taken aback now that President-Elect Obama has chosen Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., as his future Chief of Staff. Emanuel, a former Clinton advisor famous for his tenacious and sometimes rabid demeanor, sports an overwhelmingly liberal and 100% pro-abortion voting record.
According to an AP report, House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio called Emanuel “an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center.”
Like President-Elect Obama, Emanuel has earned a 100% pro-abortion rating from NARAL – an early indication that Obama plans to stock his administration with figures as hostile to pro-life efforts as himself. Emanuel, a formidable man known for his almost coercive tactics as a fundraiser and whom the LA Times called a “political assassin,” will present Obama’s opposition with a force to be reckoned with.
As an Illinois Congressman, Emanuel has voted against abortion restrictions with the same gusto as Obama, including a vote to strike down the 2003 federal partial-birth abortion ban. That year, he also voted against prohibiting U.S. tax dollars from subsidizing abortions. In 2004, he voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which nonetheless passed.
Another similarity between Obama and Emanuel lies in their support for homosexuality: in both 2004 and 2006 Emanuel voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment. Obama also refused to protect true marriage in his years as a legislator.
In 2005, Emanuel voted against parental notification and consent laws regarding abortions for minors. He then voted to protect federal funding of Planned Parenthood in 2007.
Throughout his congressional career, Emanuel consistently supported embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.
Emanuel first made waves as a Clinton campaign fundraiser, from where he eventually ascended to Director of Finance in the Clinton White House.
Emanuel’s fiery temper and drive to succeed have become almost legendary. As reported by the Telegraph, Emanuel’s associates recall that, as a Clinton advisor, Emanuel once grew so enraged during a discussion of the president’s political opponents that he grabbed a steak knife, stood up and began reciting a list of the opponents’ names, shouting “Dead! Dead! Dead!” after each, accompanied by a thrust of the knife into the table.
In 2005, Emanuel became the “golden boy” of the Democratic Party when as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee he helped launch the Democratic Party into a majority in the House in 2006.
Having accepted a position of power in the U.S. government frequently equal to or greater than that of the vice presidency, few doubt that Emanuel will make his presence known.
“Congressional Republicans respect what he has been able to do,” John Feehery, a former employee for several congressmen including House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, told the L.A. Times. “They think he’s a formidable opponent. … They won’t particularly love him, but if he’s smart, they will respect him.”