Rahm Emanuel’s re-election bid in Chicago appears to be in trouble. City Journal has a good write-up of what’s going on, specifically citing various plummeting poll numbers. Some of the wounds appear to be self-inflicted:
The Chicago Tribune unearthed e-mails showing that the producers of CNN’s reality TV program, Chicagoland, coordinated shooting of the show with Emanuel’s staff in a way designed to make the mayor look good. (The show’s producers are also clients of William Morris Endeavor, the agency run by Ari Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, though they claim that they were not represented by the agency on this project.) The tough-guy pose is particularly discordant in light of Chicago’s crime epidemic. Chicago Magazine excoriated the police department for misstating crime numbers and using gimmicks to make the city look safer than it is. A dead woman found gagged and strapped to a chair was not included in murder statistics, for instance, because the exact cause of death couldn’t be determined.
But there are echoes of a broader trend underway. We might be seeing the end of an era of relatively moderate, centrist politics in major American cities, as teacher unions, minorities and more left wing activists flex their muscles in places like New York, Newark and now Chicago.This poses questions for the Democratic party nationally. If highly-visible urban Democratic centers are moving sharply to the left while the rest of the country looks on in displeasure, it will be harder for national leaders to straddle the divide between left urban grassroots and the suburban and centrist voters (not to mention the Wall Street money) needed to prevail in national contests.Interesting times.