Today was stand-up comedy day at the White House, with President Obama and his outgoing chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, cracking up White House staff with one-liners at the morning press conference to announce that Emanuel is leaving his job. He is expected to run for mayor of Chicago.
The news had leaked long before the media event—Emanuel’s departure had been widely reported yesterday. And so the president began, “Good morning, everybody, and welcome to the least suspenseful announcement of all time.”
After lavishly praising Emanuel’s work in the White House, the president needled Emanuel for his reputation as an explosive personality known to use foul language.
“…When he was a kid [he] had lost part of his finger in an accident, and it was his middle finger, so it rendered him mute for a while.” It’s a joke Obama has used before.
Emanuel took the ribbing in stride. “I want to thank my colleagues for your patience the last two years,” he said. “I'm sure you’ve learned some words that you’ve never heard before—and in an assortment of combination of words.”
Emanuel said he was looking forward to getting back to Chicago. “These are unprecedented and great times in Chicago, Mr. President. The Chicago Bears are 3-0.”
“Unbelievable,” the president, a Bears fan, agreed.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.