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  Rahm Emanuel Has a Problem With Democracy
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ContributorCraverguy 
Last EditedCraverguy  Apr 03, 2012 07:54pm
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CategoryCommentary
AuthorRick Perlstein
News DateTuesday, April 3, 2012 07:10:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionRahm Emanuel insists it’s no biggie. Yes, when it was announced last summer that Chicago would host unprecedented back-to-back summits in May of 2012 of the G8 and NATO, the new mayor raved about his "opportunity to showcase what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country." And yes, when President Obama abruptly announced last month that the G8 would instead take place at Camp David, after the city had already committed millions of dollars for preparations, he gave his chief of staff one hour's notice. But Rahm generously said he took "at face value" his former boss's explanation that the presidential retreat in rustic Maryland would provide a more "intimate" setting for the leaders of the world’s eight largest economies. No embarrassment at all.

Here in Chicago, of course, no one believes a word of it. Cartoonist Jack Higgins of the Sun-Times nailed the prevailing view with not one but two burlesques of Rahm’s humiliation: In the first, a tall jug-eared black man hands a paper reading "No G8 in Chicago" to a little man run over by a presidential limousine: "Sorry I didn't run into you sooner, Rahm," the caption reads; in the other, a runtish Rahm is handed a note reading "Sorry Rahm no G8." It’s tied to a giant screw rammed straight through him from behind – a merciless reference to the White House’s frequent avowals, when Emanuel decamped to Chicago, that they would "have Rahm’s back."

So: Poor Rahm? Not so much. I’d argue that his humbling has been good for the city, and not just because the event would have been a riotous disaster. It’s also good because it’s been clarifying, having flushed out for the public something that reporters covering City Hall have known all along: Rahm Emanuel is no friend of democracy.
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