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Home Sections Politics “Emanuel Tells Me What I Don’t Want to Hear” Says Former President Clinton
“Emanuel Tells Me What I Don’t Want to Hear” Says Former President Clinton PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Friday, 21 January 2011 10:33

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)

 

C HICAGO (jGLi) --  Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday (Jan. 18) that when he wrote in his memoir, “My Life,” that when Rahm Emanuel left the White House as his senior adviser to run for Congress, Mr. Emanuel also “thought that Chicago should be the capital of the world.”

“When I wrote this book in 2004,” Mr. Clinton, while reading his book, said, “nobody was thinking that he (Emanuel) was going to run for mayor of Chicago or call him an ‘outsider’ to Chicago.”

Emanuel's residence was questioned when he ran for mayor. His critics argue when he became White House Chief of staff of President Barack Obama, Emanuel abandoned his residence in Chicago, making him an "outsider" of Chicago. The case on his residency is pending in court.

In endorsing Mr. Emanuel to run for the Chicago mayoral election on Feb. 22, Mr. Clinton said what makes Emanuel different from the young men and women who worked with him in the White House is that “he was always fearlessly honest in meetings with me.” He never uses “extremely colorful language when he tells me I was wrong.”

Mr. Clinton said when he assembled his White House staff, “in the first two or three days, I brought everybody (to a meeting. He told them) “if one of you ever comes in here and tells me what you think I want to hear, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You might as well quit and let me run this place with a computer.”

He said the president needs to hear “arguments from both sides. And Rahm would be fearlessly honest with you. If you got a problem, he will tell you about it.”

The appearance of Mr. Clinton was initially criticized by one of the mayoral hopefuls, who later dropped out from the mayoral race. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) earlier asked former President Clinton and President Barack Obama not to stump for Mr. Emanuel during the Chicago mayoral elections, warning of a backlash from African Americans.

Davis did not want the current and former presidents to boost the candidacy of Emanuel, the front-runner in the race.

Davis dropped out from the mayoral race on New Year’s Eve and endorsed fellow black candidate, Carol Moseley Braun, the first black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

Emanuel was Clinton’s fund-raiser when Clinton opened his bid for the Oval Office in 1992. Emanuel would later become Obama’s White House Chief of Staff. When incumbent Mayor Richard M. Daley announced that he was retiring from politics, Emanuel quit Obama’s White House.

If Daley serves until the last day of his term, May 16, 2011, he will have been Mayor of Chicago for over 22 years, surpassing the term of office of his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, who was mayor of Chicago for more than 21 years.

The Feb. 22 is a non-partisan election. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote that day, the top two finishers face off on April 5. (The new mayor will take office on May 16.) There are also two Hispanics running -- Attorney Gery Chico and City Clerk Miguel Del Valle.

In his remarks before introducing Mr. Clinton, Mr. Emanuel said, “Chicago is big enough, tough enough, strong enough, resilient enough to meet the challenge head on. That is the story of Chicago, a story of our future and character of our neighbors. As a former dancer I can say, you could have a world-class ballet company and you can have world-class opera but if you have two kids who did not finish high school, that is not a long-term solution for greatness.”

Clinton said most people in politics are worried on “what you are going to do and how much you re going to spend. (But) Rahm (Emanuel) knows how to propose to do it. And he turns good intention to make real changes in other people’s lives.”

He told the hundreds of supporters that Emanuel is not even six-feet tall and maybe weighing 150 pounds. But “if you want to have a big mayor, faithful to (poet Carl) Sandburg (characterization of the city as preserving its essential character while modernizing) and who wants to re-invent it to be a Windy City with a gale force leadership, Rahm Emanuel is your mayor.” (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 



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