Tuesday, October 5, 2010

“Mayor” Rahm’s rocky start

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has started his campaign for the Mayor of Chicago.  It looks like he is in for a bumpy ride.
First, his kick off video ended up projecting the word; “carpetbagger”!

Ben Smith, Politico [emphasis mine]: Rahm Emanuel kicked off his campaign for mayor of Chicago with a homecomingvideo, filmed in front of a bookshelf with a vase and a family photograph.
"I was born here, and my wife Amy and I raised our three children here," he says. "I'm glad to be home."
But an Emanuel spokeswoman, Lori Goldberg, confirms that the video itself was actually filmed in Washington, D.C., in the offices of AKPD Message and Media, the firm founded by David Axelrod.
The fact that Emanuel's use of the word "here" wasn't accurate is an amusing footnote to what Illinois lawyers say may be a serious legal problem: Rivals are challenging Emanuel's residency, and his right to run will hinge on where his "home" actually is. Emanuel didn't respond in detail Monday to a question on the subject. [MORE] 
Residency is problem number two.  It appears in all the excitement poor Rahm forgot the read the fine print on the qualifications for Chicago Mayor. 
Chicago Sun Times: CHICAGO--The first question isn't: Can Rahm win? It's: Can Rahm run?
Sunday, Rahm Emanuel announced in a video posted on a website that he is preparing to run for mayor of Chicago. But two of Chicago's top election lawyers say the state's municipal code is crystal clear that a candidate for mayor must reside in the town for a year before the election.
That doesn't mean they must simply own a home in the city that they rent out to someone else. They must have a place they can walk into, keep a toothbrush, hang up their jacket and occasionally sleep, the lawyers say.
Another three election lawyers say Emanuel could be thrown off the ballot on a residency challenge. None says Emanuel will have it easy. […]
Ironically, President Obama would have no problem coming back to Chicago to run for mayor because he never rented out his home and has come back to stay there on rare occasions.
"He has a physical location that he owns and has exclusive right to live in," said attorney Jim Nally.
But Emanuel's problem as he prepares to run for mayor is that he rented out his house, and the tenant refuses to back out of the lease. [MORE]
It is ironic that Obama, who has been dogged endlessly about his eligibility for President, has a stronger claim to run for Mayor than Rahm does.  While there is a little wiggle room in the law that will help Rahm’s case, I expect other mayoral candidates to push this issue hard.
Finally, Rahm Emanuel seems to be having a little trouble gaining support from his Jewish brethren.
Chicago Tribune: Some might assume that the idea of a Rahm Emanuel candidacy for mayor would be cause for celebration alongDevon Avenue, the longtime rialto of Chicago's Jewish community.
After all, Emanuel attended an Orthodox synagogue before going from Chicago to the White House, and his family is highly respected in West Rogers Park, where his father, Benjamin, was a pediatrician. The numbers of those who say Dr. Emanuel took care of their kids is roughly similar to the legion that claimed to have witnessed Babe Ruth point to theWrigley Field bleachers and hit that famed home run.
But Rahm Emanuel, who begins his Chicago "listening tour" this week, is about to discover that all politics aren't local.

In the Jewish neighborhoods on the Far North Side, Rahm Emanuel is more associated with what he did in Washingtonthan what he might do in Chicago's City Hall.
"There are questions about his positions on Israel," said Chesky Montrose, 32, who was wearing a skull cap and pushing one child in a stroller while keeping an eye on two others bicycling down Devon. "It's not logical that international policy would influence a race for mayor. But there is some resentment here, no doubt." [MORE]

Oy Vey! 
Despite these troubles and rocky start, I would not count Rahm Emanuel out yet.  The Chicago machine is legendary and Rahm comes from that machine.  I am quite sure he knows where all the bells and whistles are located.

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