Quick observations about City Club debate

January 28, 2011

  1. Gery Chico thinks he’s Mayor Daley. It’s not just that Carol Moseley-Braun called him out for taking credit for hiring cops, it’s that it’s a pattern He’s become first person singular about any and all things good that have come from Daley and oblivious – literally unaware – of the most basic things. According to Carol Felsenthal in Chicago magazine, post-debate Chico claimed he doesn’t even know who Burt Odelson is. And I don’t know about you, but a mayor who doesn’t even read the papers is exactly what I want …
  1. Rahm Emanuel has been disproving critics who’ve called him bombastic by instead being measured, dignified, and reining in his arrogance. Maybe, in part, we should credit the geniuses running Braun’s campaign, not just for deciding that part of their strategy would be to make Rahm blow his top, but also for announcing it – effectively undermining their own plans. Last night he looked exhausted, but was it just me or did he also seem just a teeny weensy bit exasperated? I wouldn’t have minded at all if he’d had a fitty if Miguel del Valle had pressed Rahm in person with the question about his involvement with Freddie Mac that he’s been asking at all those neighborhood forums. It’s a really good question. Rahm, who has pointed out this week on several occasions that he’s no lawyer, is also no businessman: his masters from Northwestern is in communications. So it’s fair to say he should be able to explain exactly what it is he did at Freddie Mac to earn the $320,000 for attending a handful of meetings. I suspect the only thing truly scandalous is that people get paid that kind of money for going to meetings.
  1. I think it’s also fair to say at this point that, should Braun become mayor, there will always be an excellent excuse for her shortcomings, and an attack on whomever is anywhere in sight when she’s called to task. Last night, her excuse for paying property taxes late five times is that she was trying to run a business and employ people on the South Side. And, of course, she bristled that she was even asked, then quickly pointed out that Rahm was also late, once. Carol has been pursued throughout her entire career by accusations of financial improprieties. She’ll balk, of course, and say she was exonerated and given a clean bill of health each time. But the bottom line is that it happens over and over (and the mess with her senate campaign didn’t actually get a pass – the statute of limitations simply ran out on the investigation) and it should make anyone pause before handing the city’s budget crisis over to her.
  1. Miguel is so squeaky clean – I mean, for real – that when he says “Chicago is ready for reform,” there’s not the slightest bit of irony in his tone. It’s not that we believe him, it’s that we believe he believes it.