20 Rahm Emanuel Fun Facts For A New, Ari-Friendly White House
With news that Rep. Rahm Emanuel—fourth-ranking Democrat and brother to Endeavor head and sporadic HuffPo grump Ari Emanuel—is mulling President-elect Barack Obama's offer to be his chief of staff, we thought we'd help you cram with this list of some essential and less-essential Rahm knowledge: 1. Their father is an Israel-born pediatrician, their mother a former X-ray technician, a onetime rock club owner, and a civil rights activist. She would take her sons along on the demonstrations if they were peaceful. 2. They grew up poor, leaving one apartment because it was rat-infested, and another because neighbors complained that the three Emanuel boys were too rambunctious. 3. He lost half of his right middle finger after a meat-slicer accident while working at Arby's as a teenager. It happened on prom night, and led to a bone and blood infection that nearly took his life. His fever went as high as 106.4. Rahm is the inspiration for Bradley Whitford's character Josh Lyman on The West Wing. 5. He was encouraged to take ballet lessons as a boy, and he excelled at it so much, he eventually won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet. He turned it down to attend Sarah Lawrence College. 6. He worked on Paul Simon's 1984 Senate bid. 7. He volunteered in Israel during the Gulf War, and was assigned to rust-proof breaks at an army base. 8. The same year, he convinced Bill Clinton to put off campaigning in New Hampshire to raise funds instead. It was a strategy credited with winning Clinton the election. 9. He acted as a senior advisor in the Clinton regime from 1993 to 1998, but was demoted one year after Clinton took office. After the '96 election, he planned on quitting, but Clinton gave him George Stephanopoulos's post as senior advisor for policy and strategy. 10. During his 1992 run for Congress, Edward Moskal, president of the Polish American Congress, called him a "millionaire carpetbagger who knows nothing [about] our heritage." He also falsely claimed that Rahm was a dual Israeli citizen and fought in their army. 11. He was named DCCC chairman in 2005, and butted heads with DNC chair Howard Dean over Dean's "50-state" strategy—in one heated exchange, Rahm even lobbed an F-bomb and stormed out of the room. 12. Torn over who to support in a Presidential bid between longtime friend Hillary and home-state senator Barack, Rahm said, "I'm hiding under the desk. I'm very far under the desk, and I'm bringing my paper and my phone." 13. He practices Orthodox Judaism with his wife, Amy Rule, and their three children, Zacharias, Ilana, and Leah. 14. He's a triathlete. 15. His name means "high" in Hebrew. 16. He doesn't recommend that colleagues appear on The Colbert Report, though he himself has appeared numerous times on The Daily Show. 17. His date of birth is November 29th, 1959. 18. He has photos of sunsets in his office and David Gray on his iPod. 19. He's quick with a zinger. Example: On the Clinton Days: "Back then, stimulus and package had a whole different meaning." "I've spent more alone time with Bill than Hillary." On Fred Thompson: "He had an interesting take on No Child Left Behind. He married one." 20. His nickname is Rahmbo. Even his mother uses it.