CHICAGO – With Mayor Richard Daley announcing that he won’t seek another term as Mayor of Chicago, the race is on and potential candidates for mayor are all but coming out of the woodwork. While half the city’s alderman have publicly announced interest in the position, and many are already gathering signatures on petitions across the city, two names keep surfacing as possible front runners in the race for Mayor of Chicago. U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., son of civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel are both names that are being tossed about in Chicago politics these days as possible Daley replacements.
Both Emanuel and Jackson are also both names that keep coming up in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial. According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times this week, Jesse Jackson Jr., speaking on the “Don Wade and Roma” radio show on WLS-AM, suggested that if the Blagojevich prosecutors have evidence of his wrongdoing, then they should “bring it on.” Meanwhile, it is reported that Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. met privately on Wednesday to discuss the race for mayor. Afterward Jackson told reporters that if he did run for mayor against Emanuel it would be “a heavyweight fight.”
Neither of these two potential candidates for mayor would necessarily be good for the city of Chicago. While Jesse Jackson Jr. may be more ego and arrogance than substance, Rahm Emanuel would surely do little to mend the city’s image, which has long been plagued by a history of corruption in government. Emanuel is not only Obama’s Chief of Staff, he also served as advisor to former President Bill Clinton whose administration deregulated the banking industry with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Many argue that it was this deregulation in banking that caused the housing crisis and contributed to the US financial meltdown in the banking industry. After leaving the Clinton White House, Rahm Emanuel went on to work as an investment banker himself, where, according to various sources, he made $16.2 million in two and a half years as a banker. Fortunately for Rahm, he managed to get out of banking before the financial meltdown and recession that followed. Emanuel is also “said to have sent a dead fish in a box to a pollster who was late delivering polling results”, and to have a long history of using profanity and emotional outbursts so outrageous they have earned him the nickname of “Rahambo”
Meanwhile, current Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley, is off this week to China to try to find investors for various projects in the city of Chicago which faces a $654 million budget deficit in a state which currently is facing the worst budget deficit in the nation. One of the ideas the Mayor is trying to sell to the Chinese is a proposal for building a bullet train from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to downtown. Daley has recently been criticized for not only selling the rights to the city’s parking meters but also proposing to sell the Taste of Chicago to the highest bidder. Daley also failed miserably in his attempt last year to bring the Olympics to Chicago losing the bid in the opening round to Rio De Janeiro. The citizens of Chicago can only hope that Daley, who has been mayor of Chicago for more than a decade isn’t wanting to simply get out of the fire before things really heat up. One thing is certain. Whether the next mayor of Chicago ends up being Rahm Emanuel, Jesee Jackson Jr. or another contender, the winner of the race for mayor will face a tough road ahead. A budget deficit of $654 million and growing was enough to get even Richard Daley to step down.
“Jackson Jr. to Blagojevich prosecutors ‘Bring it on,'” Natasha Korecki, Chicago Sun-Times, Retrieved from : www.suntimes.com/news
“Jackson, Emanuel meet to discuss mayoral race” Ed Marsha, CBS2, Retrieved from:cbs2chicago.com
“Washington’s invisible hand,” David Leonhardt, The New York Times, Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com
“Rahm Emanuel,” Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuell
“Chicago facing $654 million deficit,” UPI.com, Retrieved from: http://www.upi.com/