Emanuel as the successor to Daley is a scary thought

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Having the mayor's ear

U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (left) talks with Mayor Richard Daley at a Chicago 2016 Olympic Rally, June 6, 2008. (Chicago Tribune / June 6, 2008)

The American media is absolutely turgid with emotion over White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's ambitious plan to become mayor of Chicago once Mayor Richard Daley leaves office.

Just imagine, Emanuel on the fifth floor of City Hall, lording over his lands as King Shortshanks II, though I would be tempted to call him The Rahmfather.But not everyone is thrilled.

"What are you, some kind of chumbolone? You actually believe what Rahm's saying?" asked the eminent political theorist, Louie the Barber. "Rahm's just a boogeyman to help Daley get re-elected, get it?"

Louie isn't really a barber. He isn't even named Louie. But he's spent his life in the Chicago Way and I've given him anonymity, so he'll stop worrying about ending up in the trunk of a stolen car at O'Hare.

"Don't tell me you believe Rahm," Louie said.

But Louie, didn't you see the Charlie Rose program the other night? Rahm said he misses talking to the people, and he's thought about being mayor for years. So why not take him at his word?

"Get aholda yerself," Louie said. "If we weren't on the phone, I'd give you such a crack. Are you stupid or what?"

I didn't make a peep as Louie explained

"It's just a plan to scare the voters," Louie said. "Everybody in politics hates Rahm. Even Rahm hates Rahm. Can't you see what this is?"

No, what?

"Daley needs a boogeyman," Louie said. "And not just one. He needs about five boogeymen. So when voters look at Rahm and the others and then at Daley, they'll say 'Hey, wait a minute, Daley's not so bad after all.' Get it?"

Rahm might be tough and smart enough to run Chicago, just as long as he doesn't show up for political meetings in a sauna without his towel.

Among Rahm's many qualifications is that he can raise political cash. His super-agent brother Ari Emanuel can handle that. Also, Rahm speaks the most important language of diplomacy in Chicago:


As in state Sen. James DeLeo, D-How You Doin'? Fluency in DeLeo will allow Rahm to maintain cozy relations with Rosemont, Melrose Park, Elmwood Park and other towns within the DeLeo realm.

Louie the Barber says that soon other fringe candidates will join in, such as famed "urban translator" Wallace "Gator" Bradley, the former mouthpiece of imprisoned Gangster Disciple King Larry Hoover.

Perpetually angry U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez might run. Minister Louis Farrakhan might publicly endorse a candidate. The Outlaws, the white motorcycle gang, might have a guy, and the Latin Kings, understand?

That's when, according to Louie, a terrified group of civic leaders from the business and journalism communities will gather at City Hall. They'll drop to their knees and begin to shriek:

"Please, Mayor Daley. Run! We need you to rule us with your strong wrought-iron fist. Oh, please, be our King Shortshanks forever, our liege lord, for ages and ages. Oh, and may we kiss the hem of your garment?"

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