Strap In, 'Rahmbo': Bush's Ex-Chief

Andy Card explains how to survive in the White House
By Michael Roston,  Newser User
Posted Nov 7, 2008 7:00 PM CST
In this June 6, 2008, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who has accepted the post of White House Chief of Staff, huddles with then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
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(Newser) – Rahm Emanuel will have to delegate and be decisive, President Bush's first chief of staff tells Newsweek. But there's more: Serving as President Obama's go-to guy will be "a 24/7 job" that requires sensitivity to "the psychology, emotions and needs of the president beyond policy." At the same time, says Andy Card, policy wonks will push "breathlessly" for their goals whether or not "the climate is receptive to the debate."

Card, whose inclusive temperament is unlike "Rahmbo's" balls-up approach, advises him to nurture the type-A personality disputes that inevitably arise. "Contrary to the myth, there is no monolithic thinking in the White House," Card says. "You actually want a healthy tension and contrarian views expressed." Card's only mistake on the grueling job? He wishes he'd "left a year and a half earlier."