Rahm Runs, Chicago Yawns
Former chief-of-staff (and 5′-4″ ballerina wannabe) Rahm Emanuel enjoyed a hugs-and-tears sendoff from the Obama White House. He then immediately launched his Windy City mayoral campaign. Well actually, Emanuel recorded a campaign video before leaving the capital.
Despite the ensuing media frenzy, Emanuel is not a big hit with his potential constituents.
There are also concerns that “Rahmbo” is not a legal resident of the “City That Works”. I have no doubt that such pesky technicalities will be easily swept aside.
An intriguing question is: Will President Barack Obama appear in ads or actively campaign for Rahm? Given Obama’s reduced standing in his home state, maybe Emmanuel will avoid asking for the president’s help.
African-Americans and Hispanics in Chicago see the end of the Daley Era as the perfect time for their ascension at City Hall. Several such candidates have already began campaigns. Chances are they won’t take kindly to Rahm’s carpetbagging. Politics in Chicago is very local and very personal. Absent unusual circumstances, Obama’s positive sendoff was likely the extent of his involvement in the mayoral race. He’ll avoid the entanglement of hometown politics as much as possible.
What are Emanuel’s chances of election? With a gazillion candidates on the ballot, all Emmanuel needs is to keep any one of his opponents from gaining an outright majority (say through a slew of attack ads), finish second and force a runoff. He may have a chance then.
An as yet unannounced candidate, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, may be Rahmbo’s biggest obstacle to election. Dart has support among Chicago “lakefront liberals” and the African-American community. A Dart-Emanuel race would be fun to watch.
© 2010 by kens*ten. All rights reserved.
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