Mayor of Chicago? Not So Fast!

September 10th, 2010 at 1:37 pm | 5 Comments |

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Much of the speculation over Rahm Emanuel’s possible run for mayor of Chicago has assumed that his candidacy would be a certain winner.  But although he is a Windy City native, Emanuel would face some strong obstacles in a run for mayor.

Machiavelli noted that it was better to be feared than loved.  Emanuel though could find that as a mayoral candidate he is neither feared nor loved.  There will be little love for his candidacy without the backing of current mayor Richard Daley.  And with a full slate of contenders, many of whom will have stronger ties to Daley, Emanuel may not be able to count on Daley’s support in the race. Emanuel also lacks a personal following or political machine of his own.  Chicago politics is a tough game and without a strong network of foot soldiers to call on, few of the city’s power brokers will be motivated to lend their support. Also, one of Rahm Emanuel’s supposed strengths, the influence of former Chicago resident Barack Obama, might be overstated.  Obama’s pull in a Chicago mayoral race would be negligible if there were one or more black candidates running as well.

On the other hand, Emanuel is likely to be out of a job after the November election, considering the likely Republican gains on the Hill and the natural midterm White House staff turnover.  He also has the financial resources needed to fund a bid and his high name recognition and national media attention will be assets in a crowded field.  He really has nothing to lose by running in Chicago.  So why not take a shot?

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Oldskool

    So does he want to be the mayor of the city or mayor of the musical.

  • easton

    On the other hand, Emanuel is likely to be out of a job after the November election

    How so? Obama won’t fire him. Who is he going to replace him with? If Rahm leaves it will be on his own terms (short of his royally screwing up in some unforeseen way now). And yes, he has a lot to lose running Chicago, he would be trading in one incredibly complex more than full time job for another, notwithstanding the grind of the campaign and if he wins. If he loses than what?

  • Watusie

    I’m sure that, being Republicans and therefore great respecters of personal property rights, you obtained permission from Miramax to use the photo still from their movie, and you are paying them the appropriate compensation.

  • ktward

    I’m in Chicago.
    God knows Blago’s retrial and, now, ubiquitous speculation over Rahm’s homecoming* are ever-so-tempting distractions. But there’s a midterm right around the corner.

    [channeling Shatner] Don’t. Look. Must. Stay. Focused.

    *@easton: Rahm’s family is here, and it’s never been a secret that he meant for his CoS gig to be as short as Obama would grant.

  • SkepticalIdealist

    @easton

    Axelrod has said the president would support Emmanuel if he chose to run. Translation: GTFO Rahm. There are plenty of people who could take Emmanuel’s place and it is inconceivable that even a cardboard cut out of Karl Rove could do a worse job than he has. He convinced the president to sell his soul to the drug companies and the financial industry and got almost nothing in return. If wasting the biggest majority in recent history and getting precious little done isn’t grounds to be fired from the Chief of Staff position, then what is?