'Rahmbo' Sets Aside Partisan Image in Pursuit of Votes

Emanuel takes time for individual concerns in Congress
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2009 9:53 AM CDT
In this photo provided by CBS, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel appears on CBS's "Face the Nation" in Washington, March 1, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Rahm Emanuel has a tough-guy reputation, but it’s his openness that’s making a difference to the Obama administration, the Washington Post reports. The president’s chief of staff is ready to listen and respond to concerns from countless individual lawmakers—and their appreciation is helping to build consensus for Obama’s agenda. “I know these guys; I know what makes them tick,” Emanuel says.

“Of all people I’ve known in my life, he was born to be chief of staff to a great president,” says a Democratic congressman who “was never a big Obama guy.” After Emanuel introduced him to the president, he voted in favor of legislation he’d been leery of. While Republicans like Newt Gingrich haven’t been swayed, other GOP members praise Emanuel. “He always takes my calls,” says Sen. Olympia Snowe.