Emanuel’s Wave of Support

by Dave Schuler on February 28, 2013

I see that the wave of support I’ve mentioned for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is continuing to swell. Rick Perlstein, writing in The Nation:

Back last year when I was columnizing for the Rolling Stone website, I started explaining to the rest of the country what Rahm Emanuel’s tenure as mayor of Chicago felt like on the ground here in my hometown—and not, say, from the rarified altitude of national mainstream publications who treated the half-baked, potentially self-dealing ideas he rammed through a Kremlin-like City Council as if emanations from some sort of public policy Nirvana; unquestioningly took the mayor at his word even in his most pie-in-the-sky, pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow pronouncements; and fawned over him as some sort of new-breed reformer because, well—he tells them he is some sort of new-breed reformer. I called that “Rahmpraganda.” Its most sublime practitioner proved to be Jonathan Alter, who gushed in The Atlantic: “Sitting in his cavernous office on the fifth floor of City Hall, Rahm lowers his outstretched empty palms, then raises them above his waist. ‘If you have your hands above the table you can’t deal from the bottom of the deck.’ ”

Now, it wasn’t hard for me to document the various ways Emanuel dealt from the bottom of the deck all the damned time: all I had to do was compile links of the local coverage. On how his administration all but bribed teachers to support his dubious education initiatives. Or rammed through shock-doctrine anti-protest maneuvers. Or embarrassingly manipulated statistics. Or hid his pay-for-access scheduling practices from public view. Or pleaded poverty in a laughably transparent way in order to cut services for things like libraries, while passing equivalent amounts from the city treasury to favored corporate interests. Or practiced simple old-school Chicago-style cronyism.

The passage quoted above is link-filled—go on over there to check it out for yourself.

I’m quite sure that, should Mayor Emanuel run for re-election or seek the presidency in 2016, he’ll have no problem raising the money to do it. Raising money for elections is, after all, his core competency. He might even get re-elected or, heavens forfend, elected. To date it’s pretty clear that managing the office of mayor or dealing with the politics of the office are not among his strengths. This is a guy who was born to be head of the DNC.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Drew February 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

Heh, but he’s a crack investment banker. (snicker)

I have to admit I was suckered in by his initial statements in office. Alas, just another IL dirty, incompetant executive. Perfect for president as we have seen.

Icepick February 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Perfect for president as we have seen.

I see Drew beat me to it. On the other hand, that only happened because I took my daughter hiking in the sand dunes and beach at New Smyrna today, so I win!

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