[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/24/lkl.emanuel/art.rahm.emanuel.afp.gi.jpg" Caption="White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel doesn't often show his softer side."]
"I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once told a CNN producer when asked about potential Executive Orders. He is a person most are not likely to envision reading to kids sitting on bean bags but that's exactly what "Rahm-bo" did Monday in Washington.
Emanuel took part in the Department of Education's summer reading initiative, "Read to the Top," an effort by the government to keep kids reading when school is on break. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council joined Emanuel outside to read to elementary students from D.C.
Emanuel read, "Duck for President," by Doreen Cronin, a story about a farm duck who runs for farmer, governor, and then eventually President. In the tale, the Duck noticed all the farm animals registering to vote in the barn, to which Emanuel quipped, "It's obviously not in Chicago."
The Duck is victorious in his first election and Emanuel figures he has to make tough choices.
"Biggest decision? What do you think he has to make?" Emanuel asked the students. "Picking that Chief of Staff is tough, man. That is a tough decision, lots of choices. You can go real wrong and then it's just uphill after that."
Known more for shoving elbows with lawmakers than showing his softer side, Emanuel clearly felt a bit out of his element.
"How am I doing at reading here? It's hard man. This reading is hard work," he said as he accidentally skipped a page. Emanuel seemed to benefit from the reading in the end, saying he could learn a lesson or two from the Duck's campaign strategy.
"I'm going to have to bring this back to the White House," he said. "Is that ok with you guys?"
Filed under: 360° Radar
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