Reading the Tea Leaves of Rahm’s White House Visits
Now that Rahm Emanuel has officially bid his adieu to the White House, Paul Blumenthal at the Sunlight Foundation figured it would be a good time to trawl through the White House visitor logs to see who visited the famously gruff chief of staff during his tenure and what it might mean for his future mayoral bid in Chicago:
Emanuel is going to need friends in Chicago as he explores a mayoral bid. What better place to start than those who you got into the White House? Some of Emanuel’s visitors are big Chicago businessmen, lobbyists and politicians.
These Chicago players include business leaders Sam Zell, The Tribune Company, John Rowe, Exelon, Leo Melamed, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Thomas Lanctot, William Blair & Company, Howard Gottlieb and Patrick Cermak, Wight & Company.
Those in the political realm include Bill Daley, former Commerce Secretary and brother to current Mayor Richard Daley, John Cullerton, President of the Illinois State Senate, Sheila Gutman, major Democratic donor and Emanuel’s own former staffer John Borovicka, now with William & Blair.
How these contacts play out practically, if at all, remains to be determined. In light of earlier reports about News Corp.’s million dollar donation to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, however, it’s also worth noting a rather unlikely White House visit Blumenthal uncovered from one “Keith R. Murdoch”:
One meeting that appears in the White House visitor logs that may seem unexpected is a June 9, 2010 meeting with one Keith R. Murdoch. Does the “R” stand for Rupert? In his book The Promise Jonathan Alter revealed that Emanuel kept a back channel open to NewsCorp owner Rupert Murdoch, who’s real name is Keith Rupert Murdoch. I have not yet confirmed whether this is actually Rupert Murdoch, but I will let you know when I do.
Just one more reason for the liberal wing of the Democratic party to be thrilled by Rahm’s departure.