News & Politics

Steady Dose of “F-Bombs”—Is Mom to Blame?

Barack Obama may have his high-powered White House chief of staff, but he may not want his daughters going anywhere near his top aide.

According to The Thumpin’, a portrait of Rahm Emanuel by newly hired Wall Street Journal reporter Naftali Bendavid, Emanuel has one of the foulest mouths in Washington.

While a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Bendavid spent months with the Illinois congressman, collecting research on how Emanuel managed to win back the House of Representatives for the Democrats in 2006. In addition to his research, Bendavid received a steady dose of F-bombs that some may consider excessive from a guy who once studied ballet at Sarah Lawrence College.

On occasion, Bendavid writes, Emanuel’s language even in public is so extreme that he has driven diners from restaurants.

Emanuel’s mother, Marsha, told Bendavid she takes the blame for her son’s language, calling it “my fault” because she had never forbidden her son to curse.

But she says she never forced Emanuel to take up dancing, as he has sometimes claimed. Marsha says she told Rahm, “Forgive me—you little s—head, I didn’t force you.”

Bendavid says Emanuel objected to “various aspects” of his book, but “usually his complaint was that I neglected to highlight some alleged stroke of genius on his part.”

This article first appeared in the December 2008 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.  

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