Thursday, December 4, 2008

Family dynamics, brotherhood, and a new cologne

Did you all happen to hear about Republican Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who received a phone call from Barack Obama congratulating her on her re-election? Pretty cool...except she thought she was being punked by some local radio personalities, so she hung up on him. But wait! There's more! After she hung up on him, Rahm Emanuel called her up to tell her the President-Elect wanted to speak with her...and she hung up on him, too! Ha ha ha! It finally took the chairman of the House committee she's on to get her on the phone and tell her that Obama really was trying to get in touch with her! This just tickled me to no end, because I can imagine Barack and Rahm (and yes, we're on a first name basis) sitting in his Chicago office (or wherever they were) and trying to deal with this.

Barack: Representative Ros-Lehtinen? This is Barack Obama. How are you today? Good, good...yes, I'm fine, too. Busy, as you can imagine! Listen, I just wanted to congratulate you on your re-election, and tell you that I'm looking forward to working with you and the other members of the Foreign Affairs Committee...what? No, this isn't a hoax. It's really me. What? No, wait--- [to Rahm] She hung up on me!

Rahm: [laughing] Are you f***ing kidding me? No f***ing way! [If you haven't heard, he's notorious for his profanity. At a fundraiser, a roast of Emanuel, Obama commented on the loss of most of one of Emanuel's middle fingers in an accident with a meat slicer...he said that it rendered Emanuel half-mute.]

Barack: Way!

Rahm: Give me the phone. I'll call her back. Hello? Representative Ros-Lehtinen? Rahm Emanuel here. Listen, the President-Elect is trying to contact you and no, it's not a joke, that really was him! What? No, it's me, Rahm. I see you all the time in the House. Look, Ileana, you need to get over your paranoia and talk to--hello? Hello? [throws the phone across the room] Holy f***, she just hung up on me, too! I don't f***ing believe this! What the f***?!

Then I picture the two of them cracking up in stunned amazement! You can bet she isn't going to live that one down anytime soon! I think this was a case where she punked herself, but it sounds like she was pretty good-natured about the whole thing.

In the course of reading about the incident, I came across an interview from earlier this year, with Charlie Rose interviewing the Emanuel brothers. If you haven't read much about them, Ezekiel is the oldest, an oncologist and bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health; Rahm is the middle son and worked with the Clinton administration, then made several million as an investment banker, then successfully ran for Congress; and Ari is the youngest, and is considered a Hollywood "super-agent," representing many A-listers. Here's a clip from the interview:

The dynamic between these three over-achieving brothers is just fascinating to me. First of all, can you imagine these three growing up together? In watching other parts of the interview, it's obvious that while they all showed extreme intelligence and drive as boys, they were also typical boys and typical brothers, a strange mixture of love and competitiveness. It made me wonder about the whole nature vs. nurture argument again. What is it about these three, or about their family, that made them all incredibly successful in their individual areas of endeavor? Why are their fields so wildly different--medicine, politics, and entertainment? Was their parents' obviously ample intelligence passed to them genetically, or was the atmosphere in the home conducive to learning through discussion, argument, and persuasion? How much did birth order have to do with it? How much did competition with the other brothers come into play? Rahm speaks of he and Ari having a hard act to follow in Ezekiel when it came to grades--did that drive them to work harder in order to not be overshadowed by their genius older brother?

Is there anyone else who is fascinated by this? [sound of crickets] Maybe not. But I can't help but wonder about the psychology between siblings such as these, and the reason for their wild success in their individual fields. Their drive to be the best must be incredible. I suppose that if I could isolate and bottle their essence, I'd be a millionaire. "Coming soon, exclusively to Macy's [that one is for you, Miss G!], surround yourself with the scent and success of Emanuel...emanuel [whispered]. Power has never smelled so intoxicating, so heady...or so enticing. Emanuel...emanuel [whispered]."

Whaddya think?! I think it's a winner, and honestly, not a bad name for a cologne. A sort of woodsy scent, with a subtle hint of musk, and perhaps a light citrus overtone. Think I could get Rahm to do a commercial?


  1. I'll take four bottles! I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it. LOL!

  2. I laughed out loud about the phone calls - the dj's around here do things like that all the time so it's no wonder she thought it was bogus.

  3. I enjoyed this entry! LOL


  4. Very funny....what have you been sniffing? lol

  5. LOL great entry... and the phone calls are a hoot... understandable too.. but I laughed out loud

  6. *sniff sniff- Mmmm* I'll have a bottle, just-well-to sniff. ::little girly shivers::

    I had to laugh when I first heard the story of the phone calls. Can you imagine? Hanging up on the President Elect?

    :) Leigh

  7. family dynamics are fascinating. :)

  8. I drool just hearing his name.... LOL I try not to think about family dynamics and birth order. It would drive me insane as my relationship with my brother is touch and go at the moment. My guess? Their parents had money, sent them to good schools, and spent quality time with them. Kept them out of the bad crowds and instilled good values at a very young age. And then there's always a pinch of luck thrown in there. ;) That's not to say that parents with less money can't raise good kids but it makes it easier when you have choices in the environment your kids are put in, etc.

  9. Thanks as always for a great did me good to strat the day with a laugh..of course over here we hadn't heard about the phone I can share the story !! As for family ralationships, like you it has never failed to facinate me..I think I agree a bit with Jamie above..quality time spent eith your children must mean a lot plus expectation..both of the parents and the child...
    Lots of Love Sybil xx

  10. Gads I have enough to try to remember LOL. Blessings* Teresa

  11. You were truly ON for this entry! Funny...

  12. I thought the phone calls were hilarious. She hunf up On The President elect!!! Lucy

  13. Reminds me of the B&T bit about "Oblivious", a cologne only for politicians :o)

  14. I knew two families of boys and, unlike the Kennedy boys who all went into law and politics, in both cases the boys chose different careers and that might be an explanation for their success. Since they weren't trying to compete with each other professionally the competition element in the mix isn't that much of an issue. In fact, they may have shosen different paths simply to avoid the stress of competition

  15. as an educator, i have had the privilege of working with multiple children from the same family. the one thing all these families had in common was a strong support network and a willingness to work with the school/teachers to get the best possible education for each of their children, as well as being highly visible at the school (volunteering in the classroom, active in PTA/ fundraising).

    the 'family' factor is key ( i have seen it work in both wealthy and impoverished families) and it produces great results, like you have mentioned. when a family puts a sense of confidence and self worth into a kid, along with stick-to-it-ness, the results are phenomenal.


    ps i am adding you to my roll today...been meaing too all week. regards!

  16. I know this sounds strange, but I never heard of the Emanuel brothers.
    Sounds like a interesting family.

  17. not on the same level but i have had people call me and i have gotten rude and said leave me be and it ended up being a legit call!
    we have snowsnow everywhere, snowing all day. XO

  18. First, I love Charlie Rose. He asks the best questions and brings out the most interesting side in their guests. I would have loved to be a little fly on the wall watching the dynamics of this family around the dinner table each night. I bet it was fun, intelligent, and pointed at times.

    I think intelligence is part great genes and part environment. These men were raised by intelligent parents and given the opportunity to excell.

    Thanks for posting the interview. I enjoyed it a lot!



I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?