Salon: Rahm Is Losing Control of Chicago
Rahm Emanuel’s first two years as Mayor of Chicago have been nothing less than turbulent. To help weather the many storms, he has been able to rely on an obedient and forgiving Chicago media. Time Magazine’s June 10 cover story hailed him for his willingness to tackle the tough issues and take on opponents that no mayor of Chicago before him would dare.
But with a plummeting favorability rating among Chicago residents, Emanuel is now facing scrutiny from a staple in the left’s media diet, Salon.com.
On June 16, Salon’s Mark Guarino delivered a harsh criticism of the mayor in his article “Rahm Emauel is losing control of his city”. Guarino highlights how the man commonly referred to as “the Godfather” has now been dubbed “the murder mayor” by Karen Lewis, the Chicago Teachers Union President:
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cakewalked into office, from his former position as the White House chief of staff to President Obama, to succeed the two-decade reign of Richard M. Daley. Like Daley, Emanuel faced weak opponents who grumbled at his supersize war chest, thickly padded by financiers from Hollywood to Wall Street. But unlike Daley, Emanuel promised two things Chicagoans do not hear often: pledges for more government transparency, and to make “tough choices” to fix the city’s ballooning budget deficit.
Now, midway into his inaugural term, the honeymoon is over. Emanuel faces scrutiny from groups Daley never alienated: public sector unions, liberal progressives and minority coalitions on the city’s South and West side. Since his election, Emanuel’s approval numbers started dropping, and some are charging him as racist — a “murder mayor” deaf to the marginalized swaths of Chicago suffering from escalating street violence, inadequate transit and the largest mass school closing in U.S. history. While he reigns as mayor in a city traditionally ruled by Democrats, many consider him a Republican in donkey blue clothing, who, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), swept into office and immediately hauled out the budget cleaver.
Emanuel has been enveloped in controversy since even before he was elected when he was initially booted from the ballot for questions surrounding his Chicago residency. Shortly after his victory, he brought the NATO summit, along with thousands of violent anarchist protesters and a corresponding police-state style security lockdown, to the Windy City for a whole week. He also failed to avoid the first Chicago teachers strike in 25 years, saw 506 homicides in 2012, and this year announced the closing of 49 Chicago public schools. It begs the question: has Emanuel ever had control of his city to begin with?
While he can at least claim a modest drop in crime this year, the past month’s murder rate is now rivaling 2012 for the same period. Meanwhile, the city’s unemployment is still hovering over 10%.
In an interview Tuesday morning, Chicago Alderwoman Emma Mitts told Breitbart News the first two years of Rahm’s term have “been more of the same” in her community. And while Rahm has taken a strong position in favor of more gun control to curb the violence, Mitts says, “I think more jobs are going to curb the violence... more laws on the books, are more laws for law breakers to break.”
Guarino points out that while Rahm is feeling the heat and “has lost control of his city” with 40 percent of voters disapproving, up 11 percent from last year and particularly with 48 percent disapproval among the black community, Chicago is a one party town with a ruling class that never faces a serious challenge. With a well-financed war chest and star appeal in Washington and Hollywood, no matter how hard his opponents beat their drums, defeating Emanuel in two years will be an uphill battle.