For those who don't know, Rahm Emanuel is not usually the most charming guy in the room. He can be testy. He gets angry
easily. He has mailed dead-fishes
to people that he doesn't like. But he must have something
going for him: Scott Turow
profiles Emanuel's candidacy for Chicago mayor in the latest New York
Times Magazine, noting that Rahm began the race with support around "7 percent,"
in September, good enough for fifth place in an early mayoral poll. Come
January Emanuel was clearly leading the race, and despite numerous court
injunctions questioning his status as a resident of the city is now the favorite to win the office. Turnow
makes a strong case that Emanuel isn't necessarily who you think he his.
Perception: Rahm as 'Hyper-aggresive'Reality:
come across as "egocentric," "aloof," "abrupt" and "wary," but Rahm's
can be a "soft-spoken, polite and responsive candidate," Turow says. He
relates the story of Emanuel's composure as he sat patiently through 12
hours of proceedings around his residence in Chicago while ignoring the
bait thrown by lawyers and rambling speeches of objectors. Perception: Rahm the Political MastermindReality:
Describing Rahm's demeanor during some old-fashioned hand-shaking at a CTA
el stop, Turow writes that Emanuel "does not have the same natural
social gifts of most politicians." Furthermore "he has repeatedly
offended important people in Chicago's political circles." That said, he
does have the important connections that helped him secure over $10
million in fundraising, "more than was raised by all of the other
mayoral candidates combined."
Perception: Rahm the Heartless
Turnow portrays Emanuel as a family-oriented man with the ability to
connect and relate to a wide-range of people, noting that he kept a
picture of his family on his table during the residency trial. Emanuel
has "plans to hold office hours in supermarkets." He also is fairly
religious: he has a "deep sense of justice that I think comes very much
from his Judaism," Turow quotes Jan Schakowsky, a Democratic rep from
Illinois, as saying. Emanuel's support from Chicago's African-American
population is worth noting as well. "Emanuel was scoring particularly
well with black women, many of whom say they appreciate a white man's
giving up a position of power in order to serve an African-American
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