Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel announces he won’t run for reelection as Laquan McDonald shooting trial begins
Rahm Emmanuel is not running for mayor of Chicago for the first time in over a decade. Emmanuel cites wanting to go down a different path as the reason for his abrupt exit, but the reality may be more complicated than that.
Political insiders note that Emmanuel would be facing a tremendous challenge this election cycle, including the reforms of the Chicago Police Department. Even though Emmanuel repeatedly told the Chicago Tribune that he is confident he would still win, his departure from the race indicates otherwise.
According to Tom Bowen, Emmanuel’s former political director, Emmanuel doesn’t like to pick fights he can’t win. Bowen tells the Chicago Tribune, “If you look at his political career, he has had an advantage in most of the races he has taken on. I just don’t think with (President Donald) Trump in the White House and (Gov. Bruce) Rauner in the statehouse and the aggravation that’s coursing through the Democratic electorate, I don’t think you can say he has the advantages he (once) had,” Bowen explained. “I just don’t know him to be a guy who gets into a race where he has a tremendous number of disadvantages.”
Rahm Emmanuel’s departure from the race leaves a wide open field of 12 candidates and a chance for Chicago’s citizens to make a new choice about who represents their values.
The fact that Emmanuel made his announcement as the trial of the officer who shot and killed Laquan McDonald begins, a case which dogged Emmanuel through his second term, is likely no coincidence.
The fallout from what activists called an administration-wide cover-up of the shooting led his approval rating to plummet to 27%. Now Chicagoans are going to be able to get a new mayor. Hopefully it will be one who speaks to their concerns.