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Rahm’s Not So Secret Plans

Say, have you heard that Rahm wants to return to Congress in two years so he can eventually run for Speaker? Sure you have, because we’ve covered it here. But it’s sure interesting the way folks in Chicago treat it as a widely known fact, yet one you can’t speak about.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is interested in potentially returning to Chicago someday to reclaim the congressional seat he held until a month ago, a candidate running to replace him said Sunday.

When 11 Democrats at the first 5th Congressional District forum were asked whether they have had direct or indirect conversations with Emanuel about being a "place holder" for the seat, only state Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago) said he had.

"I spoke with Rahm maybe a week or two after he had accepted the job of chief of staff," Fritchey said. "At that time, he had commented to me that he may be interested in running one day again for the seat. I told him that should I be fortunate enough to run, and should I be fortunate enough to win the seat, I would look forward to campaigning against him."

The state lawmaker then appeared to sense he might have been a bit too open about the conversation he had with Emanuel, who represented the district from 2003 through 2009, before leaving to work for President Barack Obama.

"If I’m going to put words in anybody’s mouth, it’s not going to be Rahm’s," he said. "So, let me phrase it as exactly as I can for a conversation that took place three months ago. But that was a statement that he may be interested in running for the seat at some point down the road." [my emphasis]

Oops. I guess you’re not allowed to speak the truth about Rahm in Chicago, huh?

Add in the little difficulty that "a week or two after he had accepted" the COS job would put it in the November 13 to 20 timeframe–or precisely the time frame when Blago seemed to be preparing to send John Wyma out to talk to Rahm about just these plans and when Michael Sneed was reporting on it. But that was all before it was revealed that whatever conversations Rahm had with Blago were helpfully taped by the FBI, after which point it became important to cover up any of those conversations. 

No wonder Fritchey thought better of admitting that he had had such conversations with Rahm.

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.