By Walter Alarkon,the Hill
Obama is watching! and he is angry
Rep. Peter DeFazio’s phone rang. On the other end was Rahm Emanuel.
The White House chief of staff last month expressed frustration with DeFazio’s resignation calls for President Barack Obama’s top two economic aides — Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House chief economist Larry Summers — and appealed for cooperation,according to DeFazio.
But Emanuel,known for his blunt manner and ability to bend members of his party to his will,did not raise his voice with the Oregon Democrat.
“Rahm does not yell at me,” DeFazio said,“because he knows that I yell back.”
Others are learning that DeFazio,who has served in the House since 1987 and describes himself as a “progressive populist,” is not easily intimidated. He has emerged in recent months as one of the most vocal liberal critics of the Obama administration,blasting the president’s team for not getting tough enough with Wall Street. He’s also taken on his own party for failing to move left-leaning legislation through the Congress.
Obama himself has taken notice.
“Don’t think we’re not keeping score,brother,” Obama told DeFazio during a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus,according to members afterward.