News & Politics

Who Knew? The 'Softer Side' of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

(AP Photo/Christian K. Lee, File)

Now that one of its favorite people is in serious political trouble — with his own base! — the New York Times rides to the rescue of a beleaguered Rahmbo:

GQ, the men’s magazine, just named Mayor Rahm Emanuelto its list of “The Worst People of 2015.” In Springfield, the Illinois capital, a fellow Democrat is pressing for a measure to permit Mr. Emanuel’s recall from office. And here, demonstrators bearing thousands of signatures last week demanded Mr. Emanuel’s resignation, then blocked traffic on Christmas Eve along the city’s glittering North Michigan Avenue shopping district, chanting, “Rahm’s got to go in 2016!”

Since the release last month of video showing a white Chicago police officer firing 16 shots into a black teenager named LaquanMcDonald, Mr. Emanuel has been a mayor under siege. A debate over race and policing has swept through many cities this year, but its arrival here has pointed an especially bright spotlight on City Hall. And the fatal shooting of two people by the police Saturday morning, one of them a 19-year-old man with possible mental health problems and the other a 55-year-old bystander, intensified the scrutiny. Mr. Emanuel, who is vacationing in Cuba, issued statements saying that the city was grieving, that the public deserved answers, and that officers’ training for handling mental health crises must be re-examined.

“Vacationing in Cuba” — just to show you that Da Mare is down for the struggle.

Mr. Emanuel, a former congressman and chief of staff to President Obama, was known in Washington for his savvy in managing political crises, as well as a swaggering, often abrasive personal style. But recently he has been showing a more contrite side. Before he left for Cuba on what aides said was a long-planned family vacation, the mayor spent much time conferring with advisers, exchanging text messages with allies on the City Council, visiting local police stations and holding private meetings with African-American leaders like the Rev. Marshall E. Hatch, who met with Mr. Emanuel at a West Side church.

The results, it seems, have been mixed.

No kidding. If that’s as “soft” as Mayor Dead Fish gets, he still has a way to go. Which, of course, he does:

“These meetings are an indication of how much scrambling he’s doing,” Mr. Hatch said of an hourlong visit from Mr. Emanuel on Dec. 8. “I think he was trying to reach out, but he was awkward. He seemed in his regular campaign mode. Like whatever we were saying he should do, he’s saying he’s already doing it.”

That’s the modern Left for you — all talk, no action, self-protectively covering their bums to shield their power and perks while they vacation in Cuba. Contemptible is too weak a work to describe them.