CHICAGO - Kristen McQueary, editorial board member of the mainstream Chicago Tribune, has penned a a surprisingly critical piece about Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel:
In most worlds — business, politics, personal — an arrogant person who accomplishes things is not only tolerated but celebrated. Many of us will take an ass-kicker who gets results over a cautious consensus-builder any day of the week.
That's why Chicago voters picked Rahm Emanuel for mayor in 2011. They liked his rascally persona: the dead fish delivered to a pollster who disappointed him, the shower confrontation with an uncooperative member of Congress, the reported, "Take your (expletive) tampon out and tell me what you have to say" to a male White House staffer who wasn't on point.
The strutting. The finger-pointing. The swearing. Come on. We loved it.
But Chicago's affection toward Emanuel has shifted in a way that is different from the natural fizzle elected officials experience in their first terms. Here's why. Emanuel has stretched the continuum in opposite directions. His arrogance is oversized for the record he has amassed. He's beyond bossy. He's a walking personality disorder. But his audacity exceeds his accomplishments. That's a dangerous combination.
According to McQueary, Emanuel has done nothing about Chicago's increasing debt and pension problems; has failed to deliver on education reform; and has done nothing to curb the city's rise in violent crime.
However, as the man who once said "never let a serious crisis go to waste," it is doubtful his focus is on problem solving. More likely the Windy City Mayor has his sights set on 2016 and Washington DC -- as candidate, campaign manager, or cabinet member.