Like a blitz with linebackers rushing the quarterback by surprise, that is how Rahm Emanuel came into the city to declare his candidacy.
Yes, Rahm is back home in Chicagoland, returning from Washington over the weekend and already he has put his hands to the political plow to begin the long journey to City Hall’s door. Declaring himself in the running, he has set up a website, (go here), hopped on Facebook, (go here), and appeared a nice walk from my neighborhood next door in the South Loop at our local Jewel Osco grocery store, as well as the L Stop at Roosevelt. The Red Line. (See photo gallery here). He’s an early riser–it was around 7:30am, reported The Chicago Sun-Times today.
Whew! He didn’t waste any time, did he? I missed the first stop of his tour, much to my disappointment. I went on his website over the weekend to get some indication of where he might be just so I could make sure I got a handshake, a hello. Like the football blitz I mentioned earlier, Rahm’s fast, too fast to announce where he will be. So, I posted a message on his Facebook page asking him if he’ll be in my neighborhood, and when?
My guess is, he will have to make an appearance on the Mag Mile. That has to be one of his “Listening Tour” stops on his “Tell It Like It Is” campaign. We all know why. It’s downtown, right smack dab in the middle of “daytime Chicago” where you can meet and greet folks from all over in one central location. There are merchants, workers, shoppers, students, families, tourists, even street entertainers. That’s a nice cross-section of our city.
I also signed up on his website. Actually, Emanuel posed a problem for me when he decided to join the candidate lineup. I was thrown into a political quandary, as I had my sights set on Carol Moseley Braun for mayor. Then along came Emanuel, declaring his candidacy that forced me to take a look over in his direction.
It seemed inevitable that I would have to consider him. Right now, our city is in desperate need of strong, smart, aggressive leadership. Someone who can handle the pressure, bring the city and citizens together, and not stay behind the walls of City Hall, forgetting about we, the people. Emanuel is known for his “hands on” approach; he enjoys meeting and greeting Chicago residents, relishing the public contact and communication. He’s a hand shaker and a baby kisser. He even likes dogs. (He greeted a Great Dane and a basset hound this morning!) An animal lover; my kind of guy! Woof!
Emanuel is also known for his “take no prisoners” style a few have reckoned to “strong-arm tactics.” Some say he is more feared than loved, like Daley. Many admire that he does not crumble under criticism-heavy criticism that says he won’t be effective at building coalitions. “He’s a big dog,” reported The Washington Post. I’ll agree with two “bow-wows!”
Those styles will come in handy when dealing with police killings, gang violence, and city crime. We need a big dog to run our city. Chicago has to stay strong, stay beautiful, and stay friendly. Our city also cries for a candidate who will crunch the numbers to reduce the city deficit. That may mean a whole lot of trimming the fat–don’t bat an eye, don’t look back, just get us out of this mess.
Although some of my friends warned me to “watch out for that guy,” I view him as a double-edged sword: affable with a kind of boyish charm on one side, sharp like a razor or brass tacks on the other side. Great combination, I think. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted and let you know if I am able to catch him on his “Listening Tour.” Hopefully, he answered my post on Facebook.
To get email updates, campaign info, or see video, go to Rahm’s official website here.
To join him and other neighbors on Facebook, go here.
View announcement of candidacy on YouTube here.
suntimes.com, washingtonpost.com, facebook.com, chicagoforrahm.com, youtube.com