Flashback: Rahm Emanuel Inspects Congressman Eric Massa

Glenn Thrush

A really amazing Emanuel-Massa encounter (from Taking the Hill, a 2006 documentary following five veterans - "The Fighting Dems" - as they hit the campaign trail) from the congressman's 2006 campaign -- and may account for some of Massa'a hostility towards the White House Chief of Staff.

Emanuel -- then DCCC chairman -- fully audible even during candid conversation, gives Massa some advice about how to campaign before and after a high-volume speech -- and Massa doesn't like it.

"He wants to fine tune me, he wants to refine me," Massa says, "My problem is I am who I am, I'm not very refineable."

Arriving at a shaggy upstate Massa event in an impeccable suit, Emanuel warns -- "Take it down a notch" -- then watches Massa give his angry spiel with a disapproving glare.

After working the crowd, Emanuel pulls Massa over to a hedge and quietly offers him more advice.


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Rahm: You've got to raise $200,000 a month for the next four months... or it's not going to happen. Don't let your family down... And you've got to smile more... or people are going to think you're angry."

Massa yesses Emanuel to death, then hops in a minivan with former Sen. Max Cleland (D-G.), marveling that "Rahm Emanuel says I'm uptight!"

Cleland: "Fuck him!"


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