politics

Biden expected to nominate Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan

63 Comments
By MICHAEL BALSAMO and AAMER MADHANI

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63 Comments
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Yikes. That's a bit of a gunshot to Japan.

He had to get a 'good' country post because of his loyalty to the party, but sheesh- they could have posted him out of the way in the Czech Republic where he could go hang out in art galleries and slug beer all day...

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Oh no. No..

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Chicago Tribune has reported more details and background info about his pick. It's a bit long but worth reading. I personally expected a career diplomat, though.

Ambassador Rahm Emanuel: Former Chicago mayor reportedly President Joe Biden’s pick for Japan

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-japan-ambassador-biden-20210511-v7mhkpq7l5gvnkfbzib34k5fcm-story.html

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Give him a chance, he may shine!?

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

Does he have any connection to Japan? Any?

24 ( +27 / -3 )

It’s an odd choice to put someone with little knowledge of Japanese culture in this position, but I suppose that it is a way to appear as though he is being given a nice position far, far, away from anyone he might annoy politically. The trouble is, Japan has a number of difficulties at the moment that require a steady, knowledgeable hand. I hope this guy is up to the challenge.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Tax the hell out of Japan more and sink the GDP like he did Chicago?

Chicago's GDP actually grew to uncharted heights during his tenure as mayor:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/183827/gdp-of-the-chicago-metro-area/

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Delicate work for the new ambassador but hopefully less complicated and difficult than it was in the previous administration of the US

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

I don't think you know what ambassadors actually do. Here's a hint: their job doesn't include deciding the country's fiscal policy.

Check, tongue-in-cheek. There’s your answer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It’s an odd choice to put someone with little knowledge of Japanese culture in this position, but I suppose that it is a way to appear as though he is being given a nice position far, far, away from anyone he might annoy politically. The trouble is, Japan has a number of difficulties at the moment that require a steady, knowledgeable hand. I hope this guy is up to the challenge.

Even Democrats believe Rahm is scum! This is a keep him out of trouble post!

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Further solidifying the already widespread belief that political appointee ambassadorships are nothing but payment in arrears for one's dirty work done for the Party. This guy has zero knowledge about Asia or Japan and will make a fool of USA (again). The State Dept has real career diplomats that would be far better suited for the role.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Big deal. Ambassador posts are always given to top tier pol big wigs in the party of power. Ambassadors do NOTHING important. The real work is done by level 2 and 3 (blue and green id card) State Dept people anyway. Ambassadors go to state dinners and museum openings.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

What a SAD insult to Japan!

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Ambassadors are yes men of little importance these days and are appointed for services rendered to their masters at home. They need to be able to sit up nicely and give a paw when told to do so. I agree that keeping them occupied by going to visit museums and drink beer is a good way to serve their country.

there are of course the important duties of presenting credentials to the emperor, sit through a tea ceremony, telling everyone what they can not do , hosting and assisting cocktail parties with colleague Ambassadors, and certainly take credit for the work of all compatriots living in Japan.

welcome, Your Excellency

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yet ANOTHER slap to the accepting face of Japan. And Japan will smile and bow and show a graciousness in being forced to accept this...hack... as fit to be America's(?) Ambassador to Japan. It would make my year, if not decade, if Japan stood up for itself and said, "Who else ya got?" but...

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Absolute disaster as mayor of Chicago, which is the murder capital of America.

This administration is full of political hacks.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

While I think there could be better picks, as a political appointee Rahm Emanuel is no slouch. He is bright and active, and has the President's ear. There are many other political appointees who would be worse picks for Japanese-US interests.

Kyushu Bill, thanks for remembering the blue and green id card guys. We still work behind the scenes to keep bilateral and multilateral relations calm as much as we can. Hopefully, the current administration's foreign policy will be more stable and even-keeled than that of the last. It was hard to go to bed wondering what top-down crisis would be announced overnight in Japan when the cheese puff was awake and tweeting for US domestic consumption in the states.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

He seems like a safe pick. He may have not handled the fallout from the Chicago shooting in the best way.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Rahm Emanuel:

TOKYO: Who?

CHICAGO: Grrrr! Glad he's gone.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Japan, no vaccine roll out, death and infection rates rising...um, let's send Rahm

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Oh no! Not Mr. "never-allow-a-good-crisis-go-to-waste".

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Emanuel is a very intelligent person. He'll make an excellent ambassador.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

A steady neo-liberal hand with proven experience during the 2008 financial crisis with disaster capitalist.

You will be right at home Mr. Emanuel!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Biden's Asia diplomacy has been a complete mess, this is just more proof.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Good.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Surely fits into the all non-ambassadors. lol

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seriously? What disrespect to Japan.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Japan deserves better and so does the US people.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

This is a bad move. I think Obama wants it, and CNN Japan. That's about it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

We do not need former Chicago Mayor Mr. Rahm Emanuel here.

What a bizarre choice for the job and one that doesn’t reflect well on the Biden administration’s priorities.

This man knows nothing of Japan and Japanese culture.

Lets not forget.

Emanuel is not exactly known for his diplomatic demeanor. His habit of launching into profanity-filled tirades is so well established that it inspired a popular Twitter parody account in 2011. Thats not going to go well here. The man has not changed a bit either.

Lets talk about his track record as mayor of Chicago. Emanuel’s credentials on education or mental health policy may not be directly relevant for whether he’d make a good ambassador.

But his handling of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer does matter.

As the nation grappled with police violence after Ferguson, Emanuel’s office worked to suppress police footage of the 17-year-old’s killing in October 2014 until well after Emanuel had secured a second term as mayor in the spring of 2015. He and other city leaders undermined public accountability when it mattered most, for personal political gain. That would—and should—be a serious impediment for anyone to secure a major federal post.

America we can do better for Japan than this cat. Yeah no thanks.

Do not want this man anywhere near Japan.

Bizarre choice Joe.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Just an extended vacation, that's it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ambassadors should be career diplomats with knowledge and experience of the country they will work in. They need experience of the culture. The main role of the ambassador is sending cables back about what is happening in the country and outlining any dangerous events.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Zichi

I think everyone here understands the role of an Ambassador quite well. The point of your comment is?

Or just maybe you are back on your soap box again to grace us with all your knowledge?

LOL.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Zichi

Also we have not sent cables back since WWII. They now call it Zoom. Or some other form of secure tech. Gosh....

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Slickdrifter

@Zichi 

I think everyone here understands the role of an Ambassador quite well. The point of your comment is?

You know that because? The UK usually selects career diplomats for ambassador positions. America often selects non-diplomats lacking any experience for the role. Has shown by the post.

Or just maybe you are back on your soap box again to grace us with all your knowledge? 

LOL.

I don't have a soapbox but like you, I can post what I like. Did you get out of the wrong side of the bed sonny?

Also we have not sent cables back since WWII. They now call it Zoom. Or some other form of secure tech. Gosh....

Sending "cables" is just an expression used. Ambassadors do not use any insecure methods including zoom. The most important ones are typed and go in the diplomatic bags for security.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Actually, they still use cables.

By the way, there has not been a US ambassador to Japan since 2019. The post has been filled by, uh, no one. There is only a chargé d'affaires ad interim.

That illustrates how useless the whole system is and how French is still used, even though Americans are not very fond of the French.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Please no

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Slickdrifter

The ambassadors that I have met and worked with were all seasoned diplomats who made their career decisions before entering universities and joining the diplomatic service.

The UK has a fast stream.

https://www.faststream.gov.uk/diplomatic-service/index.html

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The next ambassador to Japan - Beetlejuice! I wish him the best. No seriously. His experience running the hood in Chicago will be useful here.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have been pleasantly surprised so far with Biden's actions and policies, as I was expecting more old-school Dem politics, instead of the people-centric initiatives he has introduced and/or endorsed.

But, the choice of this politically-connected POS is pure old-school politics at its worst. He should be ashamed. Perhaps, if there's enough pushback from the people and media, he'll change his mind? It's happened before.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Ambassador to Japan. Lol. The guy knows nothing about Japan and Japanese culture.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He sure isn't a Caroline Kennedy thats for sure. Its more likely that Rahm will function as a go-between in terms of how Japan responds to the growing crisis in the Middle East (Israel vs Iran) given Rahm's deep ties to Netanyahu and other far right political groups in Israel.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hardly matters.

of all the recent Ambassadors appointed by Republicans or Dems name one who screwed up. Just have to come over here and basically keep a low profile. It’s not a high pressure posting.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Rahm Emmanuel. Apparently, he is no longer welcome in Chicago and the Biden administration doesn't want him mucking around in DC, so they send him to the other side of the planet.

Rahm Emmanuel is an insidious cur. Completely lacking in manner or tact with absolutely NO diplomatic skills.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Really? which one is it, is Biden rewarding him with a way too good post or is he punishing Japan with a way too bad ambassador?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Beware, he is from a long line of bag men for Chinese interests.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Pretty sure Trump’s picks were much worse and damaged the US’s reputation for decades to come. For such a wealthy country the US has one of the most uneducated voter base. But like Mark Twain said: “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This should be funny.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The US Ambassador to Japan has traditionally been a heavy-hitter who has the ear of the Administration. It was my pleasure to meet former Ambassador, Regan era Chief of Staff, and Senate majority leader Howard Baker twice.

Not my party, and a wonderful person.

I think Ambassador Emanuel will be a worthy choice.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Caroline Kennedy. Did not speak Japanese. didn't no doodle-squat about Japan. Essentially, never held a job. Political 'royalty' and payback for Uncle Ted's assistance to Obama. Absolutely no experience in politics or diplomacy.

Rahm Emmanuel. Hatchet man for Democrats. Rude, pretensions and nasty. Completely lacking in diplomatic skills. A failed and disgraced mayor of Chicago.

While Emanuel was working in the Clinton White House, The New Yorker reported, he once stabbed a table with a knife while “shouting the names of people who betrayed Bill Clinton.” Obama, the second president to employ Emanuel, once claimed that Emanuel’s loss of his middle finger in a teenage meat-slicing mishap “rendered him practically mute.”

 He and other city leaders undermined public accountability when it mattered most, for personal political gain. That would—and should—be a serious impediment for anyone to secure a major federal post.

It’s unclear what exactly qualifies Rahm Emanuel for this position. Does he have any diplomatic experience? Not unless you count strong-arming various lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including one alleged incident when he yelled at a member of Congress while nude in the Capitol gym’s locker room. Does he have any experience in U.S.-Japan relations or in East Asian affairs more broadly? None that’s publicly known. It’s unclear whether Emanuel speaks Japanese or if he’s even visited the country before.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Happy DayToday said;  

"Absolute disaster as mayor of Chicago, which is the murder capital of America."

Wrong! I don't think the mayor of any city dictates the number of murders allowed but Chicago is not number one in that statistic. They rank 28th with 18.26 murders per 100,000 people. At the top of the list is Saint Louis, Missouri with 64.54 murders per 100,000 people.

Rahm did well as mayor and will more than likely make a great ambassador. Intelligence is the quality most needed to be a diplomat and he has plenty of that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If Republicans could lead as effectively as they run smear campaigns, America wouldn't be such a sh*thole of a country.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Farmboy

It’s an odd choice to put someone with little knowledge of Japanese culture in this position

Historically, Ambassadorship to Japan was a political reward post to loyalists, big campaign contribution donors, celebrities, etc. In the US, many diplomatic posts are reserved as reward posts and Japan unfortunately is one.

By comparison, ambassadorship to Korea was reserved for security experts, retired generals, Korea experts due to the important of Korea in US national security policy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Caroline Kennedy. Did not speak Japanese. didn't no doodle-squat about Japan. Essentially, never held a job. Political 'royalty' and payback for Uncle Ted's assistance to Obama. Absolutely no experience in politics or diplomacy. 

She’s a Kennedy, they do what they want and when they want.

Rahm Emmanuel. Hatchet man for Democrats. Rude, pretensions and nasty. Completely lacking in diplomatic skills. A failed and disgraced mayor of Chicago.

https://prospect.org/politics/rahm-emanuel-the-worst-man-for-the-moment/

Oh, most definitely, the guy was and is a complete wreck and Chicago was already a dump and Emanuel did nothing to curtail the gangs, the racial and financial inequality and the crime went up. Democrats, once elected, just let all of their minority communities fall apart.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is this a joke?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can imagine Rahm getting out the Atlas to see where Japan was and to find out what language they spoke over there... Joe didnt appoint him he just signed a piece of paper put in front of him by the real Democrat

fixers. I am sorry for the good people who join up the diplomatic service to serve their country and other countries dilgently.... no career there anymore.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only conservative political hatchet men are good. Democrats all bad!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

um.... he hasnt signed anything yet ... it may be a ruse to announce what he might do just to see how many people think its a great idea

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you remember when they used to put experts of the country into the role of ambassador, like Kennedy did with Edwin Reischauer?

We've moved away from this and suffer as a consequence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well said Speed....and P. Smith ...the US of A has had some mighty fine people serving in Japan... and new people are still around ... how about the Public Servants from American Foreign Service Association make some recommendations

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh dear oh dear...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't there more suitable candidate ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kumagaijin

It is well-established how Japan responds to terrorism by Islamic fanatics in the Middle East.

Rahm is a great choice as an ambassador given the success he has in Chicago. We Americans welcome him.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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