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Obama Took A Swipe At Rahm Emanuel Over Health Care Strategy

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 05/14/10 04:27 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:30 PM ET

Emanuel

Among the latest details to leak out from Jonathan Alter's new book The Promise is an exchange in which President Obama takes a swipe at Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel over his resistance to aggressively pushing for health care reform.

Greg Sargent reports on a portion of the Newsweek columnist's book detailing a conversation between Obama, Emanuel, and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs over health care reform in 2009. Emanuel reportedly begged the President not to pursue reform at the time:

At a subsequent meeting in the Oval Office on September 1st, the book reports, Robert Gibbs cracked a joke about bad poll numbers on health care.

"This is about whether we're going to get big things done," Obama said. "I wasn't sent here to do school uniforms."

Rahm then asked Obama if he still felt lucky.

"My name is Barack Hussein Obama and I'm sitting here," Obama answered. "So yeah, I'm feeling pretty lucky."

Obama's dig at Emanuel is even more poignant when you consider the context. According to a 2006 Time magazine profile, Emanuel was one of the Clinton administration's strongest proponents of the school uniform policy.

Emanuel went on to become one of President Clinton's top political aides, pushing such popular ideas as expanding the use of school uniforms.

Jonathan Alter's The Promise due to hit store shelves on May 18.

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