Rahm to Leave White House By End of Week; Gutierrez Attacks Him on Immigration
Rahm Emanuel apparently got the hint:
Although no final decision has been made because of family considerations, ABC News has learned that White House officials are preparing for Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to announce on Friday — as Congress adjourns for recess — that he is leaving his post to explore a run for mayor of Chicago.
But how can we miss you when you won’t leave, Rahm?
Sources close to Emanuel cautioned that he has yet to pull that last trigger on the decision.
That’s the closest Rahm has come to “publicly speaking” about his intentions yet.
- Yesterday Dick Durbin goes on CNN, pointedly refuses to endorse Rahm and says if he wants to run, he “can’t do it from the White House.”
- This morning David Axelrod is publicly blaming Rahm’s secret deals with PhRMA and AHIP for the health care bill’s unpopularity
- Today Obama gives gives an interview to NBC saying that Rahm will “have to make a decision quickly.”
Probably a good thing for Rahm he decided to step down before he was pushed. But as for entering the Chicago mayor’s race — well, that might be a complex and difficult task.
Here’s Dick Durbin talking about the challenges that face Rahm if he wants to fill Daley’s shoes:
Here’s how it goes: In the population, there are more Hispanics than blacks [and] more blacks than whites. In the voting population, there’s more whites than blacks, [and] more blacks than Hispanics. So Mayor Daley has put together a coalition of mainly white voters and Hispanics, and enough blacks to get a majority. And the liberals would come his way, usually. Not his father, but for him. Now, you put in a black or a Hispanic or a white [candidate], and you say, ‘OK, what’s your coalition?’ You can’t do it alone. No single group can do it.
It’s not going to be easy under any circiumstances. And there are a few factors making it even tougher right now
1. Jesse Jackson Jr. has already been firing a warning at Rahm (and Obama). From September 10:
If Rahm Emanuel does make the decision to run for mayor of the city of Chicago, it will become a national campaign. This will not be a local race run by local candidates just debating just local issues. It will be about urban policy. It will be about the president’s agenda. He has served as chief of staff.
“The president’s record will probably be brought into that campaign. And given that the president was a state senator in my Congressional district, he was a — a U.S. senator from the state of Illinois, and he, for two years now, has a record that he has to run on, Rahm Emanuel will have to answer the questions about those communities that have been left behind.”
Of course Jesse’s own ambitions of filling the mayor’s shoes may have become stalled, but the comments linger on.
2. In one of the sweetest and most divine ironies of my life, Rep. Luis Gutierrez was out there attacking Rahm on immigration today (video above). Rahm well deserves it — he was the mastermind behind the SAVE Act that caused a rebellion of the Hispanic caucus on the floor of the House. We actually advertised against Rahm in Hispanic newspapers in his district in 2006.
Put me down for a hundred bucks if you decide to run, Luis, just for that one. Well-timed.
3. And speaking of timing — the Blagojavich retrial starts in January of 2011. It will be in full swing in February when the election happens, and no doubt Rahm’s involvement with Blago would be mentioned once or twice by opponents.
4. I’m finding this comment by PatrickD from this morning quite compelling:
I’m from Chicago and still have a lot of family there — yeah, Chicago knows who Rahm is and what he’s done. I agree with Jane too; don’t think he’d be making this move at this time on his own decision. As a corporate face, he’s very beatable by any number of candidates. Big issue that was mentioned twice to me when discussing Rahm with people back in Chicago — they have had a horrendous experience with privatization of public assets, especially the parking meter fiasco. No one has any illusions that if Rahmbo becomes Mayor, the whole town will go up on the block for his investment banking buddies to buy up. That’s the real interest he has in becoming Mayor, a decided step down from the national stage. It’d be the end of Chicago because once they squander the money they get by selling the city off, there’s nothing left to generate any kind of public revenue stream. At which point, Rahm golden-parachutes into the arms of a Wall Street bank as a senior exec.
I see ads already with giant parking meters blaring “Rahm Emanuel’s vision for the city of Chicago.” But there’s so much fodder there, the possibilities are really quite limitless.
I’m sure before this whole thing is over I’ll have to write a post defending Rahm, because he’s about to be made the “sin eater” of the entire administration, and even he doesn’t deserve it. But for now, what can you say. Victory is sweet.