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Posted at 3:40 PM ET, 02/23/2011

All hail Mayor Rahm

By Jonathan Capehart

My reaction to Rahm Emanuel's stunning and decisive victory over anyone else in the Chicago mayor's race was neatly summed up by his friend and former White House colleague David Axelrod. "Two things are surreal: the nature of the victory and how fast it got counted," Axelrod told the Chicago Sun-Times. The nature of the victory is what I'm focused on.

A race that many thought would lead to a run-off between Emanuel and one of the five other candidates didn't materialize. He won 40 of the city's 50 wards. According to the Sun-Times, Emanuel won all of the predominantly black wards in the city. "Emanuel appeared to be the 'consensus candidate' of the black community," the paper noted, "garnering a larger share of the votes than former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, who came in fourth behind City Clerk Miguel del Valle. Braun had just under 9 percent, del Valle just over 9 percent."

This is significant given the racial pot stirring by Braun and Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) after former president Bill Clinton announced last December that he'd campaign for his former staffer. In all, Emanuel, who will become Chicago's first Jewish mayor when he takes office on May 16, walked off with the keys to City Hall with 55 percent of the vote.

That's what I call a mandate. And Mayor-elect Emanuel is going to need it. He will take over a city grappling with a $600 million deficit in its $6 billion budget and a pension system that Emanuel has described as unsustainable.

RAHM.jpg

The decisions he will have to make will put him in the same swirl of fiscal mayhem that has engulfed -- to varying degrees and with varying success -- the governors of California, Indiana, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin. As Alderman Joe Moore told the New York Times, "There are no more rabbits to pull out of the hat.... What is left for the next mayor and the next City Council is a series of bad choices -- cutting services, perhaps raising taxes and fees." Not pretty.

What will be needed is a tough chief executive who is willing to make the ugly decisions that need to be made and who has the personality to give as good as he's going to get. Chicago is getting that with Emanuel. But my hunch is he'll be more like his fellow Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.), than his neighboring governor, Wisconsin's Scott Walker (R).

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 23, 2011; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

fiscal mayhem that has engulfed -- to varying degrees and with varying success -- the governors of California, Indiana, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin. Joe Moore said There are no more rabbits to pull out of the hat....
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The only thing that will stop this ship from sinking is JOBS JOBS JOBS. If they dont start shooting jobs from their backsides like a JETSKI and FAST this country is SO over and done for and in that sad sad scenario my fellow countrymen it's all over but the MASSIVE devaluation of the US currency followed by angry mobs, riots, chaos and in the end a new government and currency.

Posted by: Informative | February 23, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

LOL Rahm was elected with the lowest number of votes in almost 100 years. He got about 300,000 votes out of the 600,000 people who voted. Chicago has over 1.4 million registered voters. For historical comparison, when Harold Washington was running for mayor in 1983, he got over 600,000 votes and so did his republican opponent. In this recent election, less than 25% of the electorate voted for Rahm; not exactly a sweeping mandate.

Posted by: chgobulldog1 | February 23, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

What all those states have in common is that they were run by Democrats with heavy union influence for decades. Now, if we can get over that, perhaps some fiscal order can be restored. The government does not create jibs, businesses do and the government needs to get out of the way.

Posted by: piezopaul | February 23, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What all these states have in common is that they were run by Democrats with heavy union influence for decades. Now, if we can get over that, perhaps some fiscal order can be restored. The government does not create jobs, businesses do and the government needs to get out of the way.

Posted by: piezopaul | February 23, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Rahm is elected with lowest vote count in Chicago history and simply continues the thuggery political atmosphere Chicago is famous for. A corrupt State Court helped him gain the position even though he is not a legal resident of Chicago. He will simply continue Obama's agenda at city level of initiating the "new order" of socialism.

Posted by: lhudson828 | February 23, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

As he starts to confront the deficeit and whittle back the unions, it'll be interesting to see if there will be massive protest by White-House inspired goons, signs, chants, council members hiding in other states.

Ohh wait..Danged..I forgot. He has a "friend" in the WH..you know..the Chicago guy, who funded DC's frivolitry to the hilt? You know...that guy. Rahm isn't going to have to face any difficulties...the money to "save" Chicago..i.e. let it continue spending like a drunken Democrat, will come from all the other sucker states..hahahahah

Posted by: wjc1va | February 23, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm laying odds his Mayoral term ends with a prison term.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 23, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Really people do you think the stealing of public money is going to stop. Just another Chicago politician. When are you all going to wake up. With Chicago drying up like Detroit when are you going to learn not to vote for the same group of politicians. Idiots.

Posted by: texasoil | February 23, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

All hail Mayor Rahm? If memory serves, wasn't that how the witches greeted Macbeth? I can't wait to see Mayor Rahm go off the rails. I'm not surprised he won by such a large margin. After all, it's Chicago, and to win big a candidate has to get the vote out in the cemeteries.

Posted by: sailhardy | February 23, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

All hail Mayor Rahm? Are you going to kneel and kiss his ring?

Chicago is still firmly in the grip of the machine with very strong support from the White House.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 23, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

>

Well . . . . not so much. Exit polls have now revealed that Rahm won two critical demographic groups in the Chicago electorate -- the dead and those who passed while still infants.

Posted by: prosecutor1 | February 24, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

>

Well . . . . not so much. Exit polls have now revealed that Rahm won two critical demographic groups in the Chicago electorate -- the dead and those who passed while still infants.

Posted by: prosecutor1 | February 24, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Boy...who knew?...another blubbering,fawning article on a democrat by Mr. Capehart?

" All reader Hail Democrats ".....OMG!
Did you get KO coffee yet this morning? :)

Waiting for objectivity.

Pleeeeeezzzzeeee

p

Posted by: whypromote | February 24, 2011 6:19 AM | Report abuse

congratulations mr. mayor. he won all blacks wards. what does that say about the opinions the black community has of mosley braun? i guess they didn't care for her nasty attitude towards the mayor either.

Posted by: bruce30 | February 24, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

So the dead are still voting in Chicago?

Posted by: luca_20009 | February 24, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Rahm on his election as mayor of city of Chicago . Rahm is a unifier of all of Chicago communities and people . Rahm has been able to win 40/50 city wards with a diverse ethnic population . We used to live in city in 1980s . Chicago has wonders of the World and most lively and beautiful downtown . We love Chicago .

Posted by: dmfarooq | February 24, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

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