Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was snubbed for a spot in President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet after the transition team decided he was too “toxic,” Politico reports.
Emanuel, who also served as former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff and a top aide to Bill Clinton, had waged a “relentless” behind-the-scenes campaign to lobby for the Transportation secretary job in Biden’s administration.
Emanuel “leveraged his platinum rolodexes from Obamaworld” and highlighted the need for a secretary to work with Congress on an infrastructure package, according to the report.
Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood even reached out to chief of staff Ron Klain to vouch for the former mayor.
Emanuel too toxic:
Biden personally called Emanuel earlier this week to inform him that he would not be named to the Cabinet.
Emanuel was considered by Biden’s team to be “too toxic for the Cabinet,” according to the report.
“Rahm has former colleagues and friends who are involved and respect him, but no one is worth that sort of headache,” a senior Democratic adviser to the transition team to Politico. “Labor didn’t want him at Transportation, civil rights groups didn’t want him, progressives didn’t want him. There simply is no constituency for Rahm Emanuel at this point.”
Progressives particularly targeted Emanuel over his role in the cover-up of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
NAACP head Derrick Johnson trashed Emanuel as "not a principled leader or person."
Emanuel may still end up in the administration:
Emanuel still has supporters, including Chicago’s hospitality workers’ union and Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
The job ultimately went to former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one of Biden’s rivals in the Democratic primary.
Despite the snub, Emanuel may still end up in the administration.
“In very early conversations, an ambassadorship has been discussed, but that would also require Senate confirmation,” Politico reported.