Rahm: ‘No Liberals Left to Get’
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel isn’t exactly known for his indulgence of political opponents. Still, his recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, beyond just tough talk, can only further alienate Capitol Hill liberals at a delicate time when they’re already being asked to swallow a much-diluted health-care reform bill.
“There are no liberals left to get” in the Senate, Emanuel said in an interview, shrugging off some noise from the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) that a few liberals might bolt over the compromises made with conservative Democrats.
As the White House leans on conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson** of Nebraska for the 60th health care vote, Emanuel has made the case that this generation of liberal political figures will not make the mistake of their predecessors. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s greatest regret was not cutting a deal with Richard Nixon **on universal health care. Former President Bill Clinton has forever rued the day he did not take moderate Republican Sen. John Chafee up on a compromise that could have secured a health care bill early in his presidency.
“Every time they’ve gotten close to the deal, they’ve passed up the opportunity and chosen to walk away from a particular where they’ve lost the forest for the trees,” Emanuel said.
Awaiting the liberals’ response …