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White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel faces long odds if he tries to replace retiring Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.


Don’t Bet on a ‘Mayor Rahm Emanuel’

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel faces long odds if he tries to replace retiring Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

With the stunning announcement by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley that he will not seek a seventh term in 2011, political talk immediately focused on White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as heir apparent to the first mayor of the Windy City to voluntarily step down since Ed Kelly in 1947.

Although Emanuel himself was not announcing a run, the former Democratic congressman from Illinois has long made little secret of his dream of becoming the first Jewish mayor of his home town. Betting is now strong on the Washington cocktail circuit that Emanuel will leave the White House after the November elections and move his family back to Chicago in time for the December filing deadline.

For all the “insider” talk here that Emanuel was a “slam dunk” to become mayor, the talk I heard from political sources in Chicago was quite different: namely, don’t bet on it.

“You know all about Rahm’s style and personality and you know he’s stepped on folks along the way,” said Tom Roeser, longtime Chicago columnist, educator, and radio ralk show host. “They are not going to forget all this if he runs again.”

Reportedly the list of powerful Democrats not enamored with the idea of a “Mayor Rahm Emanuel” are the family of Mayor Daley himself. As one Chicago pundit told HUMAN EVENTS, “Bill Daley [former secretary of commerce and Al Gore’s 2000 campaign manager], John Daley [Cook County commissioner], and Mike Daley [Chicago “superlawyer”] will never forgive Rahm for talking about becoming mayor before their brother decided not to run again. It is not good to be an enemy of theirs.”

No one for a minute believes Emanuel will clear the field of potential opponents, particularly those who are Irish Catholic Democrats. Cook County Asssessor Jim Houlihan, a close friend of the Daley family and former state legislator, is reportedly eyeing the race, as is Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., still swirling in the controversy of disgraced former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich attempting to “sell” Barack Obama’s former Senate seat, may nonetheless emerge as a mayoral contender if no other well-known African American enters the race.

All candidates regardless of party will compete on the same ballot next February 22. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote plus one, then a run-off between the top two vote-getters will be held April 5th. That’s a long way off—still another reason no one should at this time be booking a flight to an inaugural ball for “Mayor Emanuel.”

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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