Heath Shuler was — no surprise — one of the eleven Democrats in the House that didn’t vote for the stimulus bill, something fellow Blue Dog Jim Cooper claims was "encouraged" by the White House (whch Robert Gibbs would not deny). It looks like Rahm Emanuel, who is in charge of managing the White House’s relationship with the press, is himself pursuing a strategy to make Reid and Pelosi look as weak as possible and once again has his hand up Shuler’s dress:
Pelosi, Reid have "failed," Shuler says
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C) has further ingratiated himself with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — not — by declaring that Pelosi and Harry Reid "failed" the bipartisanship test on stimulus.
"In order for us to get the confidence of America, it has to be done in a bipartisan way," Shuler said in Raleigh following an economic forum, according to the AP.
"We have to have everyone — Democrats and Republicans standing on the stage with the administration — saying, ‘We got something done that was efficient, stimulative and timely.’"
Here’s the kicker: "I truly feel that’s where maybe House leadership and Senate leadership have really failed."
As head of the DCCC, Rahm urged candidates to be "tough on immigration" and blamed Tammy Duckworth’s loss in 2006 on the fact that she was too soft. When he wanted to make sure none of the freshmen would be open to that charge in 2008, he got Shuler to put up an enforcement-only immigration bill called the SAVE Act and forced them to sign on as co-sponsors (it currently has 150). It triggered a revolt of the Hispanic Caucus on the floor of the House.
Hispanics turned out 2-1 for Obama in 2008 so I guess he and Shuler felt they need another act.
Oh and John Podesta? Watch your back. Rahm has evidently decided that you get to be the fall guy for the vetting failures of Geithner and Daschle, telling reporters that Greg Craig had to come in and clean up your mess.
Update: I guess Reid isn’t interested in being Rahm’s whipping post. Jim Manley, Reid’s spokesman, hits back:
Let me get this straight – this is coming from a guy who threw more than twice as many interceptions than touchdowns?
Maybe Someone should tell congressman Shuler that under the leadership of President Obama we have put together a bipartisan bill that will create or save 3 to 4 million jobs, and that We have been more than willing to work with our republican friends. We have accepted some of their ideas and will continue to do so. But not at the expense of creating jobs, investing in our future of helping the middle class. He can stand on a stage if he wants, but senate democrats are busy trying to pass legislation that will provide essential investments designed to create and save jobs.
Remember, Reid tried to push his own bill that reduced tax cuts to $65 billion, and Rahm came up to the Hill and cut his legs off. Shuler’s just running Rahm’s errands.