Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Sunday that if President Obama wins re-election, people will become resigned to his new term and be willing to compromise with the president.
Obama’s former chief of staff told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that “it’s going to come down a handful of states” in November.
“And I mean — I say this pithy — I don’t mean the exact science. It’s five states, 500 precincts. That’s what I believe,” Emanuel said.
“It all comes down to the election. And here’s what I mean, I’m a product of my experience. In 1995, the Republicans shut the government down. President Clinton beat them back,” he said. “In ’96, we had a rip-roaring debate about the role of government, what was right and what was wrong, President Clinton won. The Republicans lost seats in the ’96 election in the House. Nine months later, you had a balanced budget agreement, doubled the size of our national parks, created the Children’s Health Insurance Program, for college for middle class families created the Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits.”
“I mean, it did a host of things progressive, appropriate for government to do because the election had meaning,” Emanuel added. “I believe, if the president gets reelected, everybody will realize, OK, he’s here for four years, he got reelected, we got to now work things out.”
Emanuel said he didn’t believe that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory was “somehow this is an affirmation for doing that type of politics.”
“I think people know that when you recall, there’s got to be something severe. You’ve committed corruption or something of that level. And I think that that’s where the judgment was. This was not the tool for disagreeing with his policies on collective bargaining or other issues,” he said.
The mayor stressed that he wouldn’t return to the Obama White House. “This is the best job I’ve ever had in public life,” Emanuel said.