Democrat Rep. Peter Fazio talks openly about dealing with the Chicago Way to The Hill:
Rep. Peter DeFazio’s phone rang. On the other end was Rahm Emanuel.
The White House chief of staff last month expressed frustration with DeFazio’s resignation calls for President Barack Obama’s top two economic aides — Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House chief economist Larry Summers — and appealed for cooperation, according to DeFazio.
But Emanuel, known for his blunt manner and ability to bend members of his party to his will, did not raise his voice with the Oregon Democrat.
“Rahm does not yell at me,” DeFazio said, “because he knows that I yell back.”
Straight from the lips of the Nobel Peace Prize winner himself:
Personal calls from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Vice President Al Gore couldn’t persuade him to vote for the Speaker’s climate change bill. He also opposed the $787 billion stimulus, citing concerns that only 7 percent was devoted to infrastructure spending.
DeFazio was one of only two Democrats to vote against those measures and the $700 billion bank bailout. (The other was Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) a Blue Dog conservative.)
Yet he’s also a pro-gun Democrat who has a B rating from the National Rifle Association.
“I would have less of a voice and I would have less respect if I voted for things I didn’t believe in because of pressure from the leadership,” DeFazio told The Hill in an interview.
Obama himself has taken notice.
“Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” Obama told DeFazio during a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus, according to members afterward.
Yes, indeed, Hope and Change is wrapped in brass knuckles. But you already knew that.