White House, Washington DC Photo by: Google Images

Notre Dame political scientist says the Irish run the White House and Congress


White House, Washington DC Photo by: Google Images

The Irish run The White House, even President Obama admits it. During the recent round of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the president made a point of acknowledging the common Irish heritage of key members of his second-term administration.

'My new chief of staff is a McDonough,' the president said. 'My national security adviser is a Donilon. Our new CIA director is a Brennan. My head speechwriter is a Keenan. And Joe Biden has very kindly agreed to stay on as Irishman in chief.'

According to Robert Schmuhl, Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the new level of Irish-American influence at the White House is both remarkable and unprecedented.

Writing in the Irish Independent this week, Schmuhl remarked that even the president himself likes to gamely trace the roots of his own family tree back to Moneygall, County Offaly on his mother's side.

House Republicans are also reportedly eager to get in on the Irish act including Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, chair of the Budget Committee, and Peter King, a Congressional leader in homeland security and counterterrorism.

Ryan was Mitt Romney's failed vice-presidential running mate in last year's election that featured two Irish Americans (Ryan and Biden) going head to head in the second spot on the ballot.

At the lunch this week for the visiting delegation from Ireland the president said, 'The curse of the Irish is not that they don't have an opinion about anything, it's that they have an opinion about everything. So it's not hard to see why politics has always been a good fit.'

The president also paid tribute to the consensus building power of the delegation from Ireland.

'We spend the whole year trying to bring this town together,' Obama quipped, 'and these leaders are able to do it in a single afternoon. So my question is: How long can you stay?'


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