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As a Clinton staffer, Rahm Emanuel wanted to go after Daryl Strawberry for drugs

Jun 20, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

Rahm Emanuel AP

This is both kinda fun and kinda depressing. It’s kinda fun in the “heh, look at that relic from the mid-90s.” It’s depressing in that it shows you just how awful amoral and ambitious politicians can be.

In this case the amoral and ambitious politician is current Chicago mayor and former Congressman/Obama staffer/Clinton staffer Rahm Emanuel. The data is a recently released memo from when he was working for Clinton in the mid-90s. The Chicago Sun-Times got it from the Clinton Library. In it he gives the president all kinds of advice about how to score big political points out of triangulating the issue of crime and drugs. And it is ALL political points, of course. He doesn’t seem to care too much about the issue. He cares everything about the politics of the issue. Which I assume is pretty common among people like him.

The baseball part is his advice about how the Clinton White House should nose itself into baseball and drugs. Not steroids — no one cared about that yet — but about players abusing recreational drugs. Specifically, Daryl Strawberry:

In one 1995 memo, Emanuel even suggested that the president jump into the fray over New York Yankees star Darryl Strawberry testing positive for drugs. He called for Clinton’s drug czar, Lee Brown, to meet with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and demand that Strawberry perform community service.

Brown publicly stated that the Yankees “have struck out by signing Darryl Strawberry.” But Steinbrenner said Strawberry was “worth saving” and he played for the Yankees for four years.

Pro tip: if George Steinbrenner comes off as the most reasonable guy in your interaction, you got some serious problems.

Enjoy Rahm, Chicago.

  1. brandotho - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Did he invoke the “think of the children” clause?

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    The most shocking thing to me….1995. Newt on the Hill, Clinton at 1600. Battles over budgets, gov’t shutdowns….and Emmanuel thought getting into the fray over Strawberry was good politically????

    No – it would have been horrendous politically to do that. Want proof? In 1994, Clinton was asked about the Baseball strike, and he commented that it is ridiculous that the two sides can’t find a way to split the $2 Billion a year industry (which it was at the time). Bob Dole immediately went to a mic to condemn the fact the President was wasting time talking about Baseball Labor issues, when the country had REAL problems. And Clinton didn’t even take a side – just said it was sad.

    The President spending time talking about Strawberry, that would be good politics? Heckuva an idea, Rahm-y

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      “Tough on crime” is never the wrong answer for a Democrat.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        As a broad issue, sure. But keeping the streets safe from Daryl Strawberry is a loser. Whoever shot Rahm down was right

    • ochospantalones - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Eh, it would have been totally irrelevant politically, like most of the positioning and campaign maneuvering the Rahm Emmanuels of the world spend all of their time obsessing about. Sure, Clinton would get blasted for it by some and praised by others, but it would ultimately move zero votes in either direction.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        I agree it would not be a bumper sticker issue – but then again you could say that about 95% of the things a President does. But those things like add up to the publics perception of a President, and how anyone thought that this would be baby step in the positive direction is beyond me

  3. chill1184 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    “Dont let a good crisis go to waste”

    - Rahm Emanuel

  4. timmons94 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    But at least Chicago is a safe town.. Three shootings as I typed that… Liberal pos

  5. timmons94 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    But at least Chicago is a safe town.. Three shootings as I typed that… Liberal pos

    • pauleee - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      You’re stuttering again. I thought you worked that out.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        Mouthbreathing causes that.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 20, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        Don’t mock the afflicted. The King’s Speech, I love that movie.

  6. 4cornersfan - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Now that he is in a position with real power maybe Rahm can do something useful, like fix the Cubs.

  7. American of African Descent - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    There used to be a Rahm Emanuel boulevard here in Chicago. They had to change the name because no one can cross Rahm Emanuel and live.

    (Tip your waitresses; I’ll be here all week.)

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      He shoots…..he scores!!!!

  8. jerze2387 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Rahm Emanuel is terrible. As a chicago citizen, I can say things are worse than ever. We thought it was bad with Daley. Between the money grab speed cameras, the cutbacks on city services (snow cleaning budget, potholes being fixed) despite increases in revenue, this guy is as crooked as it comes. Throw in his attempts to counter the recently passed ccw and he’s the worst mayor I’ve seen in a while. Not long before he joins blago in prison for corruption

  9. tbird05 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    I think someone should drug test Rahm Emanuel.

  10. eagles512 - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    He’s an idiot

  11. pisano - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Another worthless Chicago crook politician.

  12. RickyB - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Where’s Harold Washington when you need him?

  13. musketmaniac - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    what ever happened to little d.j.

  14. redwings1977 - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Kudos to whoever cropped that pic of Emanuel. They got just enough to show his sweet nubby finger.

  15. hushbrother - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    What a dick.

  16. pascalswager42 - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    I love it when people berate their local politician.

    It’s called the ballot box, folks. If you don’t like who is in power, work to have them replaced.

    People get the government they deserve. Sadly, I’m counted in this number with our do-nothing Washington jokes.

    Rest assured, I’m doing what I can to get some change.

    • jrob23 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      hard to do when all the people voting for these guys are impressively ignorant and vote based on race and who provides the bigger welfare check

    • largebill - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      That’s cute. You think decent people have a chance of getting decent representation in Chicago? As I said, that’s cute.

  17. jrob23 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    This scumbag is pretty much the epitome of what is wrong with politics and the left especially. Chicago is so corrupt and everyone from there in politics is inept and as bad as anything the equally corrupt right has to offer. The fact that POTUS and Clinton surrounded themselves with this guy speaks volumes about them and the sheep that voted them in.

  18. genericcommenter - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    All the “drug czar” and fake “tough on crime” people are terrible, and I apply that bipartisanly.

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