He says he likes to mix-it-up with the people. Rahm Emanuel, now President Obama’s former Chief of Staff will be returning home to Chicago this weekend.
Yes, Emanuel said he missed “contact with the constituents” while away in Washington D.C. serving as the no-nonsense, totally straight “I mean business” White House agenda promoter. Soon he’ll be back in an attempt to realize a dream he has held for quite awhile but it only became possible when Daley revealed he would not seek another term as mayor of Chicago. (See photo gallery here).
Emanuel is expected to arrive this weekend; he will most likely jump into action to get the campaign wheels rolling in pursuit of this big city job. One of the first items on Rahm’s agenda: make an official announcement of his intentions to seek the office of mayor.
To get in the groove of campaigning, Rahm will sweep through Chitown neighborhoods to re-connect with the people in what he calls “listening tours.” Residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinions, gripe, express city and neighborhood concerns, and meet the candidate up close. Look for a website to speak to citizens, informing them of these “listening tours,’ plus more.
As Daley’s friend, Emanuel did not entertain the possibility of running until the incumbent stepped down. No one could have anticipated the announcement in September that the mayor who held the position for 21 years would call it quits, opening up the door for Emanuel, as well as others to envision themselves at City Hall in the top job.
Running a campaign happens to be something Emanuel is good at. He’s definitely a baby kisser, hand shaker, willing to put time in on the sidewalks, greeting voters, shaking hands, and ringing doorbells. That will come in handy when he goes out to secure those 12,500 signatures for the nomination petition.
Emanuel is also known as a hard-nosed, ruthless, take-no-prisoners politician. On the flip side, he is disciplined, organized, and can turn on the charm in order to win votes. Remember the hand-shaker, baby kisser? Being undeterred could work for the mayoral hopeful who will have a few odds to overcome and a strong field of candidates.
Some may perceive him as an outsider. According to The Washington Post, Emanuel grew up in the suburbs, went to college in New York, then served two terms in Congress.
Many say that a person elected mayor of Chicago receives more eminence and power than the governor of the state. Rahm has put his hands to the political plow since 1984, making his mark by working with eight campaigns. His duties have included fund-raising (at which he is particularly effective), consulting other candidates, or vying for office himself.
As a parting gift, his colleagues at the White House recalled a pollster who felt Emanuel a bit insensitive, so the pollster sent him a dead fish. In a humorous twist, Emanuel was handed a dead Asian carp wrapped in a Chicago newspaper.
Rahm Emanuel’s parting words: He told the President and those in attendance today he gives them his word as he leaves the White House he won’t leave the spirit of service behind him.
suntimes.com, washingtonpost.com, washingtonpost.com, swampolitics.com