Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Be careful what you wish for.
A guy takes one day off...
Tries to stretch a long Labor Day weekend to my parents in Colorado. And look what happens. Rahm Emanuel takes his ball and goes home.
I can't fish for pity. Because City Hall dean Fran Spielman was also on vacation the day Rahm Emanuel threw in the towel. Knowing Fran, that has to sting, unless of course Rahm timed the announcement so Fran wouldn't be there to grill him like a chicken wing. Then it's a compliment. Besides, she already had turned up the pressure on him last week.
And the truth is, I stopped paying attention to Rahm a long time ago.
After Laquan McDonald, Rahm Emanuel seemed exquisitely beside the point, as if he too had been gunned down that October night on South Pulaski Road. Did the mayor cover up the shooting? Or was he just willfully ignorant of the tape? Let the voters decide!
Either way, he certainly was powerless to curb violence in Chicago. Or indifferent. Voters were calling for his head, demanding that he resign. The police he was sucking up to certainly didn't like him any better. There must have been blood in the water, because a dozen opponents were jostling, piglets at the trough, to challenge him.
Now they've gotten what they wanted, sort of. A slow motion resignation.
I thought Eric Zorn hit the nail squarely with his observation that now Chicago can have an election about the city's future and its multitude of problems and not a referendum about the past and how Rahm didn't fix all those problems.
Not that any of these chuckleheads running will fix them either, those I suppose some would fail more spectacularly than others.
Seven years. The Era of Rahm Emanuel. Let the assessments begin! I can't say I miss him. At first my view was, "He may be a jerk, but he's our jerk." The jerk working hard for the City of Chicago. A working jerk, the political genius we need to fix our pension time bomb, our staggering schools, our bleeding neighborhoods. It seems only yesterday Rahm was such an appealing politician we half assumed he had to be slumming, merely running for mayor of Chicago. Just a gig, the day job to keep him in fighting trim while he Talleyranded his path to the Oval Office.
Now both mayor and White House are both bespattered. Maybe that's it—the presidency is so diminished, it's ready for Rahm to assume his rightful position.
Out of office, he'll go from being our jerk to just a jerk. I can't pretend to care what Rahm will do after he leaves office—make more money, I suppose. Join Rich Daley in whatever half-light limbo netherworld former Chicago mayors reside in, limiting themselves to four or five locations and a few dozen cronies and, of course, foreign travel and buckraking. We still have months of victory lap, of self-congratulations and flattering figures to endure. He did spruce up the river, I grant him that.