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Emanuel Makes His Chicago Mayoral Race Debut with a YouTube Video

3 years ago
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Rahm Emanuel faced voters in his Northwest Side Chicago House district three times before going to work behind the scenes in the White House as President Barack Obama's chief of staff. But Sunday, Emanuel launched his mayoral candidacy with a YouTube video featuring a kinder and gentler Rahm (at least, for now) compared to his reputation as a fierce, sometimes foul-mouthed bare-knuckles pol.

In a measured, almost soft-sounding voice, Emanuel said that on Monday he would begin a "Tell It Like It Is" tour of the city, visiting "grocery stores, L stops, bowling alleys and hot dog stands" to hear from voters "in blunt, Chicago terms what you think about our city, and how the next mayor and you, can make it better."

Emanuel said it was a great honor to work for Obama, but "I'm glad to be home."
Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel
The video had all the traditional hallmarks of a debut campaign speech -- invoking Emanuel's roots as the child of an immigrant, citing the "tremendous challenges" ahead, declaring "we can no longer accept business as usual" when it comes to the budget deficit, and promising "leadership that's tough enough to say 'No.'"

Emanuel, who got a big send-off at a White House ceremony Friday, is not a shoo-in to win the Feb. 22 election which is attracting a large field following the surprise announcement by Mayor Richard Daley last month that he would not run again after 21 years as mayor. Daley is leaving a $654.7 million budget deficit behind, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Other candidates have the capacity to put volunteers on the street to drum up votes, and Politics Daily's Lynn Sweet noted in the Sun-Times that "for Emanuel to win the primary in a crowded field, he needs to re-engage his old base ... run up numbers on the lakefront and North Side; get a percentage of the African-American vote; cobble together some Hispanic support and spend enough time on the Southwest Side so as not to concede any territory -- and to make sure that no one could say he wasn't trying to be a citywide candidate."

In his own arsenal, Emanuel still has a political war chest of $1 million available to him that he raised in his House days.

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29 Comments

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vclen

What a shocker...another career politician.

October 06 2010 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vicbar88

After years of watching Chicago and it's corrupt brotherhood of political misfits destroy the credibility of that city the question has to be - Are they really that stupid or simple minded to let it continue? We shall soon see. One has also got to wonder what is making him jump ship?

October 04 2010 at 5:48 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Rob & Kathy

Chicago is full of "corruptocrats" Rahm should fit right in...

October 03 2010 at 10:57 PM Report abuse +19 rate up rate down Reply
harahara

Good luck to the people of Chicago! I'm sure there has to be some good people in Chicago who deserve better than this pathetic jump-the-obama-ship puppet! God Bless this great county- because right now she's circling the drain and she needs all the help she can get

October 03 2010 at 10:55 PM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply
dave and mary

Why do Chicago voters insist on voting for Democrats? Don't they know there's a choice? Or is it they've been fed too much A-corn fed beef?

October 03 2010 at 10:38 PM Report abuse +17 rate up rate down Reply
dave and mary

It's not just Rahm; it's the whole Democratic political machine. EVERYONE and his brother has heard of "Chicago Politics" ... yet the state keeps electing Democrats. Go figure.

October 03 2010 at 10:36 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
zoebark

Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel are products of the Chicago political machine (Cook County Democratic Organization) which is one of the most powerful political machines in American history. Commonly called the Chicago machine, it was directed by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for many years and became legend for its ruthless and corrupt political operations. Since then, his son has become the Mayor of Chicago and assumed the reins of this nefarious machine. It has been so corrupt that the National Democratic Party placed orders for the number of vote plurality it wanted the machine to deliver on Election Day, and the Daley/Chicago machine always succeeded. Obama appointing Emanuel to lead the vacated Chicago machine leadershiop is a predictable move by this slick political tandem.

October 03 2010 at 10:30 PM Report abuse +17 rate up rate down Reply
jm59821

Truly amazing to me that people might elect, this useless, selfish, phony, career politician to scavenge them. God help us, when we don't wake up and get it. Chicago....Wake up, and defeat this creep!!

October 03 2010 at 10:17 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply
customlawnil

The power of corruption.

October 03 2010 at 10:05 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply
annahelena13

Now,let's see. Rahm Emanuel was in Washington and had a heavy hand in bringing this country down and now he wants to be mayor of Chicago. I cannot imagine anybody stupid enough to elect him.

October 03 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse +27 rate up rate down Reply

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