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The Word From Rahm: We Will "throw Long And Deep"

There's been a lot of debate about how quickly the Obama Administration can move on its domestic policy agenda--and for how long it might have to shelve big-ticket items like fighting climate change and major health care reform. It appears we have an answer, via incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Last night, Emanuel addressed a group of business executives. Here's how the Wall Street Journal reported it:

President-elect Barack Obama's incoming White House chief of staff challenged chief executives and other business leaders Tuesday night to join the new administration in a push for universal health care, saying incremental increases in coverage won't be acceptable.

"When it gets rough out there, a lot of business leaders get out of the car and say, 'We're OK with minor reform.' I'm challenging you today, we're going to have to do big, serious things," Rahm Emanuel said, speaking to The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, a conference convened to elicit corporate opinion on the challenges facing the new president.


Mr. Emanuel said that when Mr. Obama and his former White House rival, Republican John McCain, met in Chicago Monday, they discussed making a market-based system to control global warning "a top priority" of the new administration.


He stressed that the new administration would "throw long and deep," taking advantage of the economic crisis to push wholesale changes in health care, taxes, financial re-regulation and energy. "The American people in two successive elections have voted for change, and change cannot be allowed to die on the doorsteps of Washington," Mr. Emanuel said.

Emanuel was more equivocal about card-check legislation, which would allow unions to by-pass the clumsy and management-friendly orgnaizing process, although it appears he also went out of his way to praise unions for their role in raising living standards.

In any event, check out the article. And hat tip to Greg Sargent at TPM Election Central for flagging it. 

--Jonathan Cohn