Hannity branded Emanuel "one of the hardest left-wing ... radicals" -- studies, news reports disagree
Research ››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER & TOM ALLISON
Sean Hannity asserted that Barack Obama's new White House chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, is "one of the hardest left-wing ... radicals" and stated that the choice of Emanuel shows that Obama is "hard, hard left." But contrary to Hannity's assertion, a study using every non-unanimous vote cast in the House in 2007 to determine relative ideology placed Emanuel in a tie for the ranking of 126th most liberal Democratic congressman, and news reports have labeled Emanuel as "a centrist," who has "worked at good relations with Republicans."
On the November 5 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity asserted that Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), who has just been announced as President-elect Barack Obama's White House chief of staff, is "one of the hardest left-wing ... radicals" and stated that the choice of Emanuel shows that Obama is "hard, hard left." Contrary to Hannity's assertion that Emanuel is "one of the hardest left-wing ... radicals," a study by political science professors Keith Poole and Jeff Lewis, using every non-unanimous vote cast in the House in 2007 to determine relative ideology, placed Emanuel in a tie for the ranking of 126th most liberal Democratic congressman with the late Rep. Tom Lantos (CA).
Hannity said of Obama's choice of Emanuel, "He's picked Rahm Emanuel, one of the hardest left-wing -- you know, radicals, you know, on the left, as his chief of staff. There's all the evidence that he's gonna swing to the hard left. And I think they're gonna overreach, and I think we're going gonna see the person that I think Barack Obama is. I think he is hard, hard left."
Even the National Journal 2007 vote ratings, which Hannity has himself cited in attacking Obama and which Media Matters criticized as subjective, rated Emanuel the 128th most liberal Democratic congressman with a composite score of 72.3.
Further, numerous media reports have labeled Emanuel as "a centrist," who has "worked at good relations with Republicans." A November 6 Los Angeles Times article, for example, asserted: "Emanuel's policies, unlike his politics, have always been centrist, in the Bill Clinton mold. In addition, a different Emanuel has emerged in recent years, one who has forged friendships with Republicans and shown an ability to work with them on occasion." The article also quoted GOP strategist John Feehery as saying that Emanuel "understands that if Obama goes too far to the left, it's not going to be good for the Democrats. ... I think he's the kind of guy who can knock some heads and help Obama guide the Congress toward the middle." The New York Times also reported in a November 6 article that "Mr. Emanuel has worked at good relations with Republicans, and has the grudging respect of some."
From the November 5 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: Senator Obama's now our president-elect, but his tax plan is sure to have small business owners concerned. So, what does an Obama administration mean for the average Joe? Joining us now with reaction is the man who became the face of the proverbial average Joe. Joe Wurzelbacher is back with us, but you know him as Joe the Plumber. Joe, how are ya?
WURZELBACHER: Hey, I'm doing real good. How about you guys tonight?
HANNITY: Well, all right. You never expect to hear it. You were playing catch with your son, and all of a sudden, Barack Obama walks down the street, one of his few unscripted moments -- and I think it revealed a lot about the real Barack Obama, which is the question that I'm bringing up here tonight. And you asked a question, and lo and behold, now you're out there campaigning with Governor Palin and Senator McCain. And it had a big impact on this campaign. What are your thoughts about the results?
WURZELBACHER: Yeah, I was disappointed. You know, I mean, my guy didn't win, but the same token, you know, Obama ran an incredible campaign. That can't be denied, and he's what the people chose. So, you know, now I gotta get behind him and support him, but in my opinion, though, it doesn't give him a blank check. We still need to hold him responsible and accountable to the people of America.
HANNITY: Yeah, no -- and I agree with that, too. I -- here's my prediction. I think that liberals will misinterpret -- I mean, for example, we have evidence that they're even gonna strip Joe Lieberman of his leadership position in the United States Senate, retribution. He's picked Rahm Emanuel --
HANNITY: -- one of the hardest left-wing -- you know, radicals --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Radical?
HANNITY: -- on the left -- as his chief of staff. There's all the evidence that he's gonna swing to the hard left. And I think they're gonna overreach, and I think we're going gonna see the person that I think Barack Obama is. I think he is hard, hard left. We'll see. We'll give him an opportunity. But I --
WURZELBACHER: My --
HANNITY: Go ahead.
WURZELBACHER: I was going to say, well, you know, SecureOurDream.com is a website I started up. I don't know -- I know you haven't gotten to that yet. But, you know, that's kind of why I'm starting it up, is one, to hold the elected officials accountable for, you know, who voted them in, be you Democrat or Republican, and hopefully be able to head off things like that to a degree and bring it out in the media.
HANNITY: Well, you know, if you picture a guy like Rahm Emanuel -- who said about Republicans, "They can go blank themselves" -- if you pick a guy that voted with the Democratic Party 99 percent of the time, you know, it seems like Chicago politics is moving to Washington. That's my interpretation.