Rahm Emanuel, current mayor of my old hometown, Chicago, is not a gentle soul. But he's smarter than his big-spending predecessor, Richard M. Daley, and the union pawn, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who becomes the new mayor if he beats Emanuel in a run-off election April 7.
Emanuel was the tough Obama chief of staff who reportedly stabbed a table with a steak knife as he listed political enemies. He relishes conflict and famously said that in politics, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste." That comment scared libertarians and conservatives, who know that government usually uses crises as excuses to increase its power. But here's the surprise: Emanuel has been in crisis mode for four years now, and sometimes he made the right decisions as a result……his predecessors pandered to a shallow public and gullible media by spending, borrowing and refinancing……but cities can't keep borrowing…...Moody's downgraded Chicago's credit rating almost to junk-bond level last year because the city promised to pay billions of dollars in pensions to city workers but doesn't have the money.
Chicago is the next Detroit……
He privatized some jobs, giving private contractors a chance to prove that they do city work better than city workers do it. He closed 50 of the city's worst schools. But he made little progress in addressing the immense pension liability……The pensions are owed mostly to union teachers, cops and firemen, and none will give an inch…..To Read More……
My Take – There’s are eight things here I think worth reviewing.
One. Why is Emanuel having to do a runoff in the first place? Answer - he’s amazingly unlikable! He’s rude, arrogant, profane, belligerent, vindictive and he’s connected to the hip to the Obama crowd, and no matter what the polls say – I find it impossible to believe Obama can still muster a 47% approval rating. I put Rasmussen’s polls in the same category as the polls that showed Netanyahu was on the ropes and was going to lose his election.
Two. The media in Chicago – and everywhere else - are leftists and connected to the hip with the teachers union, so coverage over the school issues in Chicago has been slanted.
Three. I think those votes against Emanuel were “up yours” object lesson votes.
Four. Now that the field is clear everything will have to drift away from the emotional sound bites and focus on what each of these guys has to offer, and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia - although likable - has no answers and no solutions to any of the issues, except more of the same, which leads to bankruptcy, lousy schools and crummy teachers. Now the voters will be forced to focus on Chicago's serious economic problems, and since the internet is available in Chicago - they will bypass their local media to find that focus. Being likeable will not win this election!
Five. Corruption will always be with Chicago. It’s endemic in Illinois, just ask all the governors of Illinois that have been convicted of corruption, including Blagojevich, so solving that can only be a side issue as opposed to the very real bankruptcy they're looking at if someone doesn't start changing the economic issues that are fixable.
Six. At some point between now and April 7th Chicagoans will realize that even as miserable a human being as Emanuel is – he’s at least moving in the right economic direction, and will have no option but to re-elect him.
Seven. He almost sounds like a moderate Republican with his efforts to thwart these run away unions, but he is now, and will always be, the same vindictive Rahm Emanuel he’s always been. One who believes in destroying his enemies, and the teachers unions – and all those who worked to unseat him – are his enemies and they will find him unrelenting in his efforts against them.
Eight. But here's the rub - those who were the most adamant against him belong to the base of the Democratic party. It should be interesting to watch!
If he's not elected, the author is right - Chicago is the next Detroit - and may be anyway!