Rahm Emanuel, former Illinois Congressman and current chief of staff for President Obama, must've had quite a day yesterday in the wake of Mayor Richard Daley's announcement that he was hanging it up as Mayor of Chicago. Of course, many people always thought that Mayor Daley would never willingly give up that post (which we all know was also held by his father, Ricahrd J., who died in office), plus the City probably can't afford to change all the signs that say, "Welcome to Chicago, Richard M. Daley, Mayor.
While Rahm has clearly coveted that office, even while he was a Congressman according to some, it appears that Daley's announcement took him, as well as almost everyone else, by surprise.
The timing of this puts Rahm in a bit of a pickle. While serving Obama in the White House, at a critical time before the mid-term elections, when everyone expects the Democrats to take a pasting, it'd be a very bad time for Rahm to leave, or even get too publicly excited about running for that Mayor's job. All the Dems are already lining up to blame Obama for the expected drubbing that the Dems are expected to take in November. Who better to be a fall guy than someone like Rahm, who doesn't want to stick around anyway, and would probably bolt today if it wouldn't look bad on Obama.
But, it's far too late into the election cycle for Rahm to try to make a graceful exit and Obama to use Rahm as a behind-the-scenes fall guy to show the D.C. Dems that he understands he needs to restaff and refocus on his policies and his politics.
While Rahm might already be the presumptive front-runner for the spot, they are already lining up in Chicago to replace daley as soon as the customary period of showering accolades on Daley is over. There, that was fast. But Rahm is losing ground simply by standing still in D.C., so I can only imagine the itch he's got to get his boss past November and find a quick flight home to Chicago.
If Rahm wants to have a chance to win Da Mare's office, Rahm better start thinking of ways to balance the Chicago budget, and change all those Daley signs without having to sell off any more assets, like maybe City Hall. Otherwise, where are you going to park your ballerina butt?