Rahm Emauel is no goat

Rahm Emauel is no goat
Mayor Emanuel during Memorial Day Taps ceremony at Daley Center Eternal Flame. (Peter V. Bella)

Politico took a cheap shot at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The piece, "Rahm Emauel: D.C. hero, Chicago Goat" written by Maggie Haberman, should have run in the Onion.

Politico is profitable because political gossip sells. There is no reason they could not spend some profits on a local journalist to write a credible knowledgeable hit piece instead of a know nothing like Maggie Haberman.

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Citizens greeting Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the Memorial Day Parade route. (Peter V. Bella)

Citing an insignificant Sun-Times poll showing strong disapproval of the mayor is shoddy reporting.

Political polling is very profitable voodoo science. The only poll that matters is on election day.

If you want to see how popular the mayor is watch him in public. On the street or at events people line up to meet him, shake his hand, or have their picture taken with him. Those people are voters.

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Some Chicago mayors, like William Hale Thompson, were brazenly corrupt and thoroughly detestable. (Chicago Tribune)

Chicago history is rife with strong mayors who did great things. Some, like William Hale Thompson, were brazenly corrupt and thoroughly detestable. They accomplished things because they took care of the bread and butter issues, issues that mattered to voters.

The Daleys, pere and fils, were not reelected over and over again because they were admirable, adorable, warm and fuzzy guys.

Both Daleys also proved one thing. Being the mayor of the City of Chicago is not a popularity contest. Their long tenures are evidence of that.

They were reelected because they got things done. If people had to be stepped on or over to do it so what?

Like Rahm Emanuel, Richard J. Daley was also a powerful and respected national political figure.

The average voter in Chicago does not care about big social or justice issues. All the voters care about are the street lights being lit, the garbage picked up regularly, being able to get from here to there and back safely and efficiently, and police, fire, and EMTs showing up in time to save them.

Chicago politicians know one thing. Providing city services is the key to getting reelected. The absolute worst most heinous thing a city employee can do is tell a citizen, "There is nothing I can do."

Chicago is also a city of wards. Fifty feudal boundaries run in a ducal fashion by aldermen. Even powerful and popular Chicago mayors knew there were lines that should not be crossed when dealing with those venal barons. The aldermen, even the most incompetent, rarely are blamed for anything. All the blame goes to the mayor.

There is a new development in the case of the missing Rahmfather. (Chicago Tribune photo)

In Chicago, the mayor is affectionately known as the Rahmfather (Chicago Tribune photo)

Rahm Emanuel might be known as Rahmbo in the hinterlands where Politico is published. In Chicago he is affectionately known as the Rahmfather, a Machiavellian personification of the best and worst, the good and evil of Chicago's political syndicate.

Being the mayor of Chicago is better than being the head of the Chicago Outfit. Running the nations best city, the beating heart of America, is the greatest job in the world.

It is a hard job. Chicago politics is daily warfare with many special interests battling each other and the politicians for attention and dollars. All crying to get their way. All pointing the blame when they do not, like small children

Chicago is a town of bullies. Velvet gloves hiding iron fists, glib tongues belying harsh tactics, bespoke clothing draping thugs.


Chicago is a town full of thugs and bullies, like union leader Karen Lewis. (Peter V. Bella)

Karen Lewis, a cited critic in Politico's screed, is one such person. She wears the skirt to call out mayor Emanuel as a profane vulgar bully and thug, when in reality she is a loud brash thug and bully.

Does the mayor have problems? He does.

Rahm Emanuel rubs people the wrong way. So have other mayors, especially two named Daley. Their brusque manner never hurt their reelection chances.

This mayor can speak in complete sentences without Daleyesque malapropisms.

Can the mayor be a bull in a China shop? Sometimes that is what it takes to get things done.

Emanuel tackled the third rail of Chicago politics, school reform. Mayor Richard J. Daley tried to reform public schools starting in 1955 with mixed results over two decades. Richard M. Daley road a roller coaster of reform during his tenure with similar mixed results.

Now it is Emanuel's turn. Again, history will tell us if he was right or wrong in his approach. Not union leaders or their activist travelers.


Street violence, like this robbery, breaks out in the warm weather. (Peter V. Bella)

Street violence breaks out every summer in Chicago. The numbers have increased over the decades. This is a multi-faceted problem that eludes a solution.

There is plenty of blame to go around, the aldermen, ministers, community organizers, community organizations, and others who enable criminals and handcuff the police.

Emanuel is herding cats trying to curtail the violence.

Emanuel does have one real problem. There are two Rahm Emanuels. The one the public sees most, addressing the media, with a cold sometimes harsh personality.

Then there is the personable Rahm Emanuel, who gives great speeches at public events, shakes hands, hugs children, laughs, and smiles. He thoroughly enjoys himself in public. It is natural. The public needs to see more of the latter.

Rahm Emanuel is no goat. Rahm Emanuel will be reelected, for better or worse. There is no one who can beat him. There are no groups who can find, fund, and back a winning candidate. Not even Karen Lewis, with all her bluster and braggadocio, can field a candidate to win.

Alderman Robert Fioretti. (Peter V. Bella)

Alderman Robert Fioretti. (Peter V. Bella)

Toni Preckwinkle, who for some unfathomable reason is touted as a progressive reformer, cannot rout Emanuel. There is not one alderman who could best Emanuel. Even the personable and popular Bob Fioretti would go down in flames.

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Red carpet makes light colored khaki pants look pink. (Peter V. Bella)

I would give the mayor a piece of avuncular fashion advice. Never wear light colored khaki pants when walking the red carpet in bright sunlight. The color reflects up giving the appearance of wearing pink pants.

The Rahmfather should not look like he is wearing pink pants.


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