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Rahmbo to the Rescue! Wait, What?

Can Rahm Emanuel Really Make a Difference?

By David A. Lynch
On November 9, 2010

Two years ago, a media darling took the world by storm and won the United States Presidential campaign. When Rahm Emanuel left his position as the Congressional representative from Illinois'  5th district to become the White House Chief of Staff, he made it clear that one day he wanted to be the mayor of the third most populous city in the United States. Emanuel, however, provided the caveat that he only wanted to run if Mayor Richard M. Daley was done serving, as he did not want to run opposed to a powerful Democrat.

    Emanuel was born in Chicago and grew up in both Chicago and nearby Wilmette. Born to a Jewish family, Emanuel has two brothers, Ezekiel, an oncologist, and Ari, a Hollywood talent agent, whom the Entourage character Ari Gold is based upon. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College for his undergraduate studies, and of Northwestern University with a Masters in Speech and Communication, Emanuel has been deeply rooted in Chicago and politics for the last 15 years. He is a man who cares about Chicago and, much like Mayor Daley, will be unable to hide his passion.

   Emanuel volunteered with the Israel Defense Force during the 1991 Gulf War. He was a civilian volunteer responsible for the maintenance of vehicles. Perhaps during his experiences in the gulf, and now at the White House, he will bring a sense of urgency to resolving the manpower shortage the Chicago Police Department faces. The problem that both Emanuel and Chicago face now is the status of his residency. Emanuel states that he maintains his residency because of his property ownership, driver's license, voting status and, of course, because of the property taxes that he pays. The issue is that Emanuel has lived in Washington D.C. for over a year and a half while working in the Obama administration. If loopholes for residency can work for Emanuel, then the same case should be applied for all other city employees who currently must reside within the city limits.

   While Emanuel has qualities that would make him a great steward for the city, there are more pressing reasons that he should not be elected mayor. First and foremost is the question of his residency. For years, the city has clung to the residency for employees and making an exception under these circumstances would be a horrible precedent. Rahmbo has also long been a supporter of gun control, and has spent countless dollars fighting the city's misguided handgun ban. More importantly, however, Emanuel is likely to continue the same Democratic machine that has broken down recently. With his deep ties to Mayor Daley and his henchmen- I mean politicians- it does not appear that much will change in Chicago, and change is what is desperately needed.

While Chicago is not nearly as blue collar as it once was, it certainly is middle class, and the next mayor of Chicago should be able to connect with the people.

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