New York Times columnist David Brooks is a softy for many things, but especially ex-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Brooks doesn't get why people think Emanuel's so mean! He was always so nice on the telephone, after all.
Emanuel's relationship to Brooks' came to light in a recent New York profile of the latter. Before Emanuel's White House departure last week to run for mayor of Chicago, he would call David Brooks twice weekly — before the columnist's deadlines — to spin, spin, and maybe spin some more, hoping that Brooks could relay the administration's agenda in a palatable way for conservative readers. It never seemed like a great strategy on Emanuel's part, though, since outside-the-Beltway Republicans don't give a shit about David Brooks.
But David Brooks loved the attention from a powerful person! And today, he has memorialized his far-away love, the one who slipped away to a Chicago mayoral race, with a paean of the most tender kisses:
Over all, Rahm is a warmhearted Machiavellian. On the one hand, he is a professional strategist. He surveys the landscape and figures out how he can push or maneuver people into getting what he wants. He ran a disciplined White House.
On the other hand, he is not one of these cold-eyed tacticians who is always hedging his bets. He's not one of these butter-wouldn't-melt-in-his-mouth guys.
I interview a lot of politicians. Rahm is unique. Flawed like all of us, he is a full human being, rich and fertile from the inside out.