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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thomas Friedman, "A Progressive in the Age of Austerity": Singing Paeans to Emanuel, Friedman Fails to Mention Solyndra

Rahm Emanuel became the 55th Mayor of Chicago on May 16, 2011, and although Emanuel has spent only five months on the job, Thomas Friedman is already singing paeans to his style of municipal government. In a New York Times op-ed entitled "A Progressive in the Age of Austerity" (, Friedman writes:

"I stopped by Chicago’s City Hall last week to interview the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff. I find 'Rahmbo’s' Chicago agenda intriguing because it’s a microcosm of what the whole country will have to do for the next decade: find smart ways to invest in education and infrastructure to generate growth while cutting overall spending to balance the budget — all at the same time and with limited new taxes.

. . . .

'I want to be honest about this budget,' the mayor declared. 'Almost every one of these ideas has been discussed and debated before. But politics has stood in the way of their adoption. Maybe in the past, we could afford the political path. But we have come to the point where we can’t afford it any longer. The cost of putting political choices ahead of practical solutions has become too expensive. It is destroying Chicago’s finances and threatening the city’s future. In all of these reforms, we will be guided by principle, pragmatism and progress — not politics.'”

"I want to be honest about this budget"? Charming. But what about that unpleasant, unfinished, malodorous business at the White House? I'm referring to Solyndra.

Now in Chicago, Emanuel is claiming that all will be guided by "principle, pragmatism and progress," but regarding Solyndra, Emanuel can't remember a thing. Asked about Solyndra by Speaking to Chicago radio station WLS 890AM (see:, Emanuel claimed:

“Ya know, I’m focusing on a major announcement today for the City Of Chicago. I don’t actually remember that or know about it. So, what I’m dealing is with what I’m dealing with here today.”

However, as reported by Yahoo! News (, Emanuel's failure to remember seems somewhat disingenuous:

"E-mail communications from the White House obtained by the House Energy and Commerce Committee point to more involvement in the deal than perhaps Emanuel would care to remember.

The vice president was scheduled to announce the closure of the Solyndra deal on Sept. 4, and several e-mails show pressure from the White House to approve the loan.

In one e-mail, an assistant to Emanuel wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 to the Office of Management and Budget about the administration’s upcoming announcement on Solyndra and asked whether 'there is anything we can help speed along on OMB side.'”

His aide wanted to "speed along" the loan, and Emanuel was to announce that the deal had been completed, yet he remembers nothing?

Thomas Friedman may wish to focus on Emanuel's acuity as mayor of Chicago after only five months on the job; however, there appears to be some unfinished business demanding credible answers at his prior place of employment.


  1. And how many aides don't run their own agendas - none that I know of - but I'm no fan of the rahmbustious one either

  2. How many days do you think an Emanuel aide could last with his own agenda? This is a man who sent a dead fish to a pollster who made him angry. As reported by Rolling Stone, a former Clinton staffer said of Emanuel: "We joke that someone should open a special trauma ward in Washington for people who've worked for Rahm." See:,8599,1856965,00.html


  3. Jeff, your dead fish is en route via FedEx.