Danny Davis: In it to win it?

December 28, 2010

Congressman Danny Davis isn't taking the holiday break lightly.  

As others quitely gear up for a renewed Chicago mayoral campaign after the New Year, Davis is stepping up the energy and the publicity this week.  

First came yesterday's press conference aimed at highlighting his pledge to clean up city politics.  Now comes his statement today that former President Bill Clinton should rethink his plans to campaign in Chicago on behalf of Rahm Emanuel.

The Davis campaign issued a press release today urging Clinton not to make such an appearance, arguing that doing so could jeopardize his "long and fruitful relationship" with the African-American community.  After all, Clinton was often symbolically known as America's "first black president" by some in the community long before Barack Obama won election to the White House in 2008. 

Davis claims that relationship could be hampered by choosing to support a white candidate, Rahm Emanuel, over two black candidates who've considered him a friend as well - Davis and former U.S. Senator and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun.

Expectations of a Clinton campaign visit have been high ever since Emanuel entered the mayor's race.  Emanuel worked in the Clinton White House as a key advisor before returning to Chicago in the late 1990's to work in investment banking and make a later run for Congress.

Davis's statement today is another sign that the campaign is both concerned about the gathering momentum for Emanuel (a poll last week showed his lead growing) - and about breaking out of the pack.  That same poll showed Davis mired in the single digits.  Add to that an unsolicited call from his campaign offering him for a one-on-one interview in January and the signs suggest a deepening commitment to the race ahead.