On August 20, President Biden announced his intent to nominate the controversial former Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel to be the next Ambassador to Japan. The WH released the following brief bio:
Rahm Emanuel, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan
Rahm Emanuel, former Mayor of the City of Chicago and White House Chief of Staff to President Obama, has had a distinguished career in public service. As Mayor, he oversaw increased economic development that revitalized the city and helped solidify its status as a global hub of culture and commerce. He ensured Chicago was a leader on the global stage, hosting the 2012 NATO summit, leading the continent in foreign direct investment for six consecutive years, convening mayors worldwide to commit to the Chicago Climate Charter of 2017 and helping establish the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Mayors Forum on Global Cities. He previously served as Chief of Staff to President Obama, where he helped secure the passage of landmark legislation, including Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act, and advised President Obama on all key national security decisions during the President’s first two years. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Emanuel served in the U.S. House of Representatives where he held a number of leadership positions. Mr. Emanuel also served President Clinton as Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy. He is currently national chair of the Advisory Council of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM) mentoring program. He graduated with a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Northwestern University.
If confirmed, Emanuel would succeed William F. Hagerty IV who served at the US Embassy in Tokyo from August 31, 2017–July 22, 2019. Ambassador Hagerty was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020 and now represents the state of Tennessee.
Prior appointees to this position includes, Caroline Bouvier Kennedy (1957–), Howard Henry Baker Jr. (1925–2014), Thomas Stephen Foley (1929–2013), Walter F. Mondale (1928–), Michael Joseph Mansfield (1903–2001) to name a few.
There’s an organized group that’s running a “No to Rahm” campaign. There are also members of the House who are voicing publicly their opposition to this nomination. In the end though, only the votes in the Senate really counts. It is not very often that a Senate confirmation gets derailed; it does happen from time to time, but this nominee has friends in the high places, so more likely than not, this nomination will get confirmed despite the opposition.
Of course, given that Senator Cruz, one of the heroes of the January 6 insurrection has already gummed up the confirmation process, who knows when nominees may actually start packing.
The White House has formally nominated Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan. https://t.co/7Ph3h5Ghtf
— Jesse Johnson (@jljzen) August 20, 2021
“Whether or not an ambassador has good rapport with the president is generally of great concern to U.S. allies in Asia, so the choice of Emmanuel should please Tokyo overall." https://t.co/0sgzq1u4ra
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) August 22, 2021
Biden is set to nominate former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan – and Chicagoans are not thrilled: “Rahm Emanuel covered up the murder of my son. “Rahm Emanuel does not deserve to be the ambassador of anything." https://t.co/lbuAu8Z4Mr
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 20, 2021
Rahm Emanuel and Nick Burns are smart decision makers, experienced leaders and dedicated public servants. @POTUS has made a great choice in naming them Ambassadors to Japan and China. I know Rahm and Nick will do great and I wish them well in their respective posts.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) August 20, 2021
President Biden has made two excellent choices for critical Asian ambassadorships, nominating Rahm Emanuel to represent the United States in Japan and Nicholas Burns in China. Both have the skills, intellect, and experience to represent American interests well.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) August 21, 2021
As former U.S. Amb. to Japan, I understand the U.S.-Japan alliance is critical to security & prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. I congratulate @RahmEmanuel on his nomination. I know the Japanese people with their deep love for the U.S. look forward to welcoming the next Ambassador. pic.twitter.com/qnXCEw6H3g
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) August 22, 2021
Truly. If a senator opposes Neera Tanden for mean tweets, where does a Rahm Emanuel nomination land? https://t.co/xcLGXWRyjo
— Aaron Huertas (@aaronhuertas) August 20, 2021
20 orgs announced Friday that they will launch a nationwide grassroots campaign urging senators to vote against President Biden’s expected nomination of Rahm Emanuel to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan. #RejectRahm https://t.co/YFe4cRbNfT
— RootsAction (@Roots_Action) May 18, 2021