On the outside, Rahm Emanuel appears to have the world at his well-manicured fingertips. The Windy City policy wonk is handsome, educated, and intelligent. So, why have the Democrats kicked this man to the curb? Does he smell like success? No, apparently to certain lawmakers he smells like elite Chicago and the Eau de Failure he sprayed on daily as a city mayor who ruled during a crisis of gun violence. But that has never deterred the faithful before. So, what gives?
Unlike Joe Biden, resuscitating this Obama guy is not much of a 9-1-1 emergency, and the reason why should not surprise anyone: Progressives don’t like him. And it all stems from the 2014 shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald.
It’s the Coverup, Stupid
Back in the day, Emanuel was often referred to by this unflattering moniker: Shoot-O-Rahm-A. Since his leaving the post of mayor, violence on the streets of Chicago has only gotten worse. At the time, the murder of a 17-year-old black kid by a white police officer was all anyone wanted to discuss – and for good reason. Somehow the officer needed to put 16 rounds into Laquan – nine in the back – as he walked away. The officer also fired as Laquan lay dying on the pavement.
Tragic as the shooting was, what came next haunts Emanuel to this day: the coverup of what happened. After an investigation by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, hundreds of pages detail what he called “an elaborate coverup by 16 officers and supervisors.”
Emanuel knew and tried to sweep the mess under the rug.
Now, certain elitist Democrats appear not to mind that so much. They typically look the other way at Chinese spies employed by members of Congress, gun-running administrations, sex scandals, and other sundry practices. But progressives want no part in resuscitating Emanuel.
Upon hearing Emanuel would be pegged for a diplomatic post, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted her disdain for even the idea of Rahm coming back to the Swamp:
“What is so hard to understand about this? Rahm Emanuel helped cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald. Covering up murder is disqualifying for public leadership. This is not about the ‘visibility’ of a post. It is shameful and concerning that he is even being considered.”
Biden Sets His Teeth for a Skirmish
While serving as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Emanuel was instrumental in bringing the president and vice president together. It was his idea to invite Biden to a weekly luncheon – not Obama’s. And Rahm was careful to remain in close contact with Joe while out of office and then on the campaign trail. A politically savvy angler, looking for the next big catch. And it all may have paid off if AOC and her progressive pals had kept their traps shut. Rahm is a frontrunner for ambassador to Japan. And that would be a high-profile and prestigious return for the man.
The odds are that Biden will let the Emanuel nomination simmer a bit on the back burner in hopes he can wiggle some support before the confirmation process. A process that might be more of a Chicago gang-style rumble – with Republicans and progressives finally teaming up on something in chambers.
Or Biden may have to tie a synthetic meat pork chop around Rahm’s neck to get the more progressive elements of his party to hand over the keys to the Swamp clubhouse. We’ll see.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.