They’re voting. And eyes are turned on the “50-percent” factor. Well, actually 50-percent plus one. One, as in 1 vote. That’s all Rahm needs to become the next mayor of Chicago. And when you consider that the media, political pundits, and professional politicos are calling a 50-percent voter turnout, then you have Rahm-bo winning the mayoral election with 25% of the voters voting. Yes, that’s a calculation of 50% of 50%.
Now Gery Chico, Rahm’s closest competitor has run a respectable race by Chicago standards. He has experience, former President of the Chicago School Board, among his credentials. A run-off would be nice, if not really interesting. Chico and the unions vs. Rahm, the realist reformer. But, as the media appears to be in love with Rahm, because he’ll bring a rolodex of national, world-class thinkers and doers to Chicago, Chico’s experience is well, primarily Chicago. As in myopic.
Yesterday, while running errands, I had on Chicago talk radio. One of the hosts was mentioning “how calm Rahm is” in comparison to his persona from the White House. Oh, puhleez. Rahm, the master politician, one of the best to come out of this State in its history, has the persona to fit the moment and the movement. Look at his latest commercial messaging, “he works for you” ,”he pushed the Bill through”.
As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, O Come, O Come, E-Man-U-El, for me, it’s not whether Rahm wins, that’s a given, it’s what’s his next step. Chicago is but a much-needed blip on his credentials: Big City Mayor, plays a lead role in the National Mayors’ Conference, governing (good active tense verb), reformer (especially good now that the union vs. non-union taxpayer is in the daily lexicon).
So, does Rahm go after Kirk’s seat in 2016? Does he go after Durbin’s in 2018? (Remember, the White House is but one election away after the Senate.) Durbin’s another given for 2012, the Republicans don’t have a viable candidate who can defeat him, not yet anyway. Governor? No, tough sell. Even for Rahm. Central and downstate have never been enamored with Chicago. Besides, that’s reserved for Lisa, IF, Dad, Speaker Mike, can clean up the budget mess. That’s why she didn’t take on Quinn this past election. She’s safe as Attorney General, and doing a respectable job as consumer advocate. Why mire her down in the budget mess, especially since she really doesn’t have the political skills or muscle, to make any kind of reform a reality. No, let’s wait four years until Dad can figure this out, (although, it’s also a mess of his own making), and then we can have another fresh, “I’m fighting for you” face on the scene. And if Dad can’t work another political miracle, then it’s Kirk in 2016, if Rahm decides to wait, or Durbin’s seat in 2018 because by then, he’ll retire.
You see, Illinois politics is really quite simple after all.