Zogby on Rahm Emanuel

November 18, 2008

I’m reprinting below an e-mail I got from the Arab American Institute.  It’s a thoughtful article by James Zogby about how the Arab world should interpret Obama’s appointment of Rahm Emanuel.

Washington Watch
November 17, 2008

Lessons That Should Be Learned

Dr. James J. Zogby (c)
President
Arab American Institute

On November 5th, my office sent an email to tens of thousands of our members and contacts congratulating President-elect Barack Obama. In our message, we noted the historic transformation his victory represented and commended the thousands of Arab Americans who participated in this winning campaign.

The initial and near universal response was heartwarming, with many sharing moving anecdotes of their campaign experiences, their reactions to the victory, and their hopes for change.

One day and one announcement later, the tide turned.

With the naming of Congressman Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, the euphoria of some, not all, turned to despair. The emails and calls to my office were both troubled and troubling because much of the reaction was based on misinformation and because of what the entire episode revealed about the larger political dynamics involved. Read the rest of this entry »

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