Yet anybody who looks at the situation objectively can see Emanuel had his backers, and may have won despite all the hostile rhetoric he’ll face in coming months from segments of Chicago society.
ALL ONE HAS to do is look at the finances that would have been available to him and to the people who were inclined to challenge him.
Rahm would have been capable of out-spending anybody who dared challenge him come the Feb. 26 elections (with a possible run-off April 2). Even now that he’s out of the race for mayor, he’s going to be spreading his influence around.
It’s likely that our city government will continue to have large segments of people who will owe their presence in politics to Rahm Emanuel, and who will be inclined to pursue the same kinds of ideals that Rahm would have pushed for if he were still mayor.
That’s a thought people ought to keep in mind if they’re the types of individuals who seriously want to believe they’ve dethroned the tyrant by getting Emanuel last month to announce he’s not seeking a third term in office at City Hall.
TAKE THE REPORT by the Chicago Tribune, which indicated the financial support Emanuel is giving to just over one-third of the City Council – members whom he believes were supportive of him on politically-sensitive issues.
The newspaper reported how 20 of the 50 aldermen were invited to a breakfast meeting at a restaurant within walking distance of City Hall. In addition to a morning meal where Rahm picked up the check, he also handed out checks to individual aldermen.
Roughly some $20,000 apiece, made out to their individual campaign funds, so as to help them financially with getting themselves re-elected.
As the Tribune pointed out, the money totaled some $500,000 – money that would have been part of his campaign fund IF he were still seeking re-election as mayor.
INSTEAD, HE’S ENSURING that the powers-that-be won’t be able to forget that Rahm Emanuel ever existed. Just because he won’t be working out of the suite of offices on the Fifth Floor of City Hall won’t mean people inclined to support him will be gone.
Now Emanuel is going about making statements about how the bulk of the money he had raised for a re-election bid will be returned to the entities that donated it to him.
But if he was able to cough up about a half-million dollars in checks for personal donations, it makes one wonder just how much he could have had to spend on himself.
As reported earlier this year, Emanuel had one day back in April where he received $1.7 million in contributions, and at that point in time had some $5.7 million available for use during the upcoming election cycle.
BY COMPARISON, THE mayoral hopeful with the most money now is William Daley – who this week received donations putting him just over the $1 million total. Just behind him is Garry McCarthy, the one-time Chicago Police superintendent, whom the Chicago Sun-Times reported has about $830,000 and will soon be over $1 million himself.
Financially, Emanuel could have buried either of them. When combined with the fact that there are going to be so many mayoral dreamers going about, it’s possible that Rahm could have taken advantage of that partisan split and prevailed politically.
So whomever does manage to prevail in becoming Chicago’s new mayor had best understand there are going to be elements of the ‘old way’ remaining at City Hall.
Anybody who thinks they’ve “overthrown” Rahm may well find themselves frustrated beyond belief in finding themselves incapable of getting anything done, what with all the people in place who owe their allegiance to Emanuel.