Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Is Chance sufficient enough to make Enyia more than “Miss One Percent?”

Amara Enyia is one of the dozen or so people who got into the race for mayor in next year’s election cycle even before Rahm Emanuel withdrew.
She has run for office before, but she’s always been one of those fringy sort-of candidates, as in someone who – when all is said and done – either withdraws prior to Election Day, or else takes about 1 percent of the vote. Getting the support of those who want to cast a ballot for somebody, but can’t bring themselves to back one of the more established candidates.

SO I CAN’T help but wonder if Enyia just had the best day of her political life on Tuesday, or if the entertainer known as Chance the Rapper truly has an over-bloated ego.

Chance, the son of Ken Bennett, who was a federal government official during Barack Obama’s presidential terms, has become a person taking interest in public policy and Chicago’s future.

Which is what caused him to show up at City Hall on Tuesday along with a gathering of his followers to let it be publicly known he supports Enyia for mayor come the Feb. 26 elections.

Can Chance, who in recent months purchased himself rights to a website to make himself a publisher of sorts and who also has offered financial support for projects meant to benefit the Chicago Public Schools, provide Enyia’s political dreams enough of a jolt so that she can compete with the William Daleys, Gery Chicos and Toni Preckwinkles of the political world?

OR DID HE just give her an ego jolt that won’t last much beyond Tuesday and will result in her once again taking 1 percent of the ballots cast come Feb. 26?

I found it interesting to read the Chicago Tribune, which reported Chance said, “I probably won’t ever be running for mayor of this city, but I believe that me and Amara share a vision of what Chicago should be.”

While the Sun-Times had Chance stating to Enyia the much more egotistical, “I’d like to say very narcissistically, if I back you, you have a chance – absolutely.”
ENYIA: Will political dreams become real?

Chance could be an influence if he were to make significant campaign contributions to Enyia in the way that other government officials get themselves prominent financial backers.

WHICH IS WHY it may be more relevant to read Chance saying, “I got a lot of money, so it would be very scary” if he were to donate.

As for Enyia, she is the founder of the Institute for Cooperative Economics and Economic Innovation. The Chicago-raised daughter of Nigerian immigrants, she has bachelors and masters degrees, along with a PhD, and also is a law school graduate.

If anything, Enyia is exactly the kind of hard-driven, enthusiastic and dedicated person that any government official would want to have on their staffs. Someone with knowledge and skills who could get things done and make the elected official look good in the process.

As to how much of that translates into being an actual elected official, that is questionable. We all too often get lesser-minded officials who rely on their cult of personality to sway voters into supporting them; perhaps with the notion that those people will hire qualified staffers to actually do the work.

SO IT WILL be interesting to see if Enyia is capable of rising from the ranks of “staff” to “elected official.”

Could the cult of Chance’s personality give her a boost? Or will the people who showed up at City Hall on Tuesday to cheer her on follow him to some other cause next week, or month or year?
She has been campaigning since August. Is this a big boost?
One other thing. I couldn’t help but notice that Chance’s father is already publicly on board as backing Preckwinkle for mayor. Chance himself says there is a generational split that could cause younger voters to turn on Toni (who is 71).

Will it be a “tense” Thanksgiving this year – one in which Bennett family members go out of their way to avoid political talk? Or will there be a meeting of the minds that unites the family, and many voters, behind a lone candidate?


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