Friday, March 6, 2015

Do we need to “like” a political person in order to back him on Election Day?

I’ve already seen several times the new political broadcast spot in which Mayor Rahm Emanuel admits he’s not the most likeable of people.

The fact that I’m seeing it air so often is testament to the amount of cash the Emanuel campaign fund has, and its ability to get out a message it wants known publicly.

IF THERE IS a reason why Emanuel wins re-election as mayor come the April 7 run-off election, it probably is that. Not because the people of Chicago “forgive” Rahm for his brusque temperament, or even because we agree with him.

But this whole idea about likeability has had me wondering just how relevant should it be whether we’d want to socialize personally with a government official?

Personally, I could care less on what type of person Emanuel is. My concern is about what his priorities would be, and his ability to get his political promises done.

After all, any candidate can say he (or she) will do anything. Should we have any reason to trust them to be capable of keeping their word? That’s what matters!

NOW I PROBABLY should state at this point that I often have been described by people who encounter me as being less than agreeable personally. Yes, I’m sure there are some individuals out there who are now screaming choice obscenities to describe me.

It’s not something I lose any sleep over. I don’t worry about it. I try to do my best at whatever tasks I take on, and don’t care much if the people I encounter come across as feeling all warm and fuzzy from the experience.

I figure that if I do my work properly, they’ll be satisfied with the result – even if they also have a personal thought about what a grump or grouch I was while doing it.

So the idea that Emanuel has a tough exterior that can be blunt-spoken and leave some people feeling put off? The fact that he has been known to use certain terms that are considered to be obscene language?

IF WE’RE REALLY trying to pick the next mayor of Chicago based off who the nice guy is, or who is more popular? Then perhaps we have reverted back to the mentality of a junior high school Student Council election.

That would be sad. Perhaps we were better off having so few people bother to turn out to vote (about 34 percent) back in the February municipal elections. I’d rather have no votes than stupid votes – although what our society really needs is an electorate that shows enough concern to figure out what issues are relevant.

So what should we think of Emanuel’s new commercials? I suspect nobody is going to be swayed. The people who think Rahm is the ultimate pompous @$$#*!% aren’t going to be swayed one bit.

In fact, I have stumbled across some attempts at political commentary that claim Emanuel’s ads are a failure because they didn’t specify what exactly Rahm is apologetic for!

ANYBODY WHO EXPECTS the mayor to go on camera and run through a list of political screw-ups is delusional. Just envision how quickly the opposition would take excerpts from the ad and put it together as their own spot – along the lines of “Mayor Rahm tells us in his own words why we shouldn’t vote for him.”

I suppose it’s nice to see Emanuel try to offer up the lighter side of his personality, although I think it comes across about as sincere as if he were to show up at U.S. Cellular Field wearing a White Sox warm-up jacket on Opening Day. Nobody would buy it. Only Daleys seem to be capable of pulling that sartorial combo off.

For all I know, even the ball club would hate the idea of Rahm wearing the black-and-silver of the Sox.

And I can’t say any of this influences my own thoughts about the Emanuel/Garcia political brawl that we’re going to face in coming weeks.


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