Last spring, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel began pursuing a series of deals with interest groups—insurers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals—to grease the passage of health care. When Axelrod eventually turned to the issue, he became frustrated. The deals Emanuel was negotiating were moving the legislation forward. But they risked provoking a public backlash. "During the campaign we fought against insurance companies," Axelrod said in discussions with Emanuel and the president. "After the deals with insurance companies, the deals with Pharma—all these people are supposedly our friends."
New Republic, 09-27-2010