It is always nice when you are in line somewhere and you have to leave the line to do something else and the person behind you says, ‘go ahead, I’ll hold your spot.’
Chicago Alderman Pat O’Connor is that kind of guy.
From today’s Sun-Times:
Emanuel was on track to become U.S. House speaker someday before accepting Obama’s offer. He has told Democratic ward bosses that he would like to reclaim the seat after a few years as chief of staff.
He was believed to be leaning toward O’Connor, in part, because the alderman might be amenable to giving up the seat at some point.
But in light of the Blagojevich scandal, probably not. Emanuel, according to a Dem operative and quoted in the Sun-Times article, has “gone underground.”
I saw this story first on Progress Illinois (I read all of those progressive sites, you know). The author there, Josh Kalven, seemed surprised Emanuel would angle for his spot back.
When rumors surfaced in mid-November that Rahm Emanuel was hoping to find a placeholder to sit on his House seat until he finished up a stint as White House chief of staff, it left a lot of folks — including myself — scratching their head. The idea that Emanuel would attempt to pull off such a maneuver amid all the intense media scrutiny on Illinois seemed a bit far-fetched.
Today’s Sun-Times article, quoted above, seems to indicate the story was more than a rumor.
Kalven says the Blago mess may have a positive effect on the 5th District race.
CQ’s Emma Dumain called me on the day of Blagojevich’s arrest to gauge the impact on the 5th Congressional District race. I hinted at the time that I thought the governor’s scandal would prevent any of the rumored manuevering from advancing and allow for a relatively clean race. Spielman’s report seems to indicate things are moving that direction. We’ll see if it lasts.
Here is what Kalven said to the Congressional Quarterly writer:
“This could actually be good news for the people of the district,” said Josh Kalven, editor of the news and commentary Web site Progress Illinois. “It creates an opportunity for a candidate who’s squeaky clean — who’s an outsider in terms of machine politics in the city and state — to have a shot at the seat.”
Dribs and drabs – Emanuel did talk directly to Blago. When the headlines say Emanuel pressed for Jarrett, read Obama pressed for Jarrett. Rahm doesn’t roll without Obama saying go. How it looks to me is that Obama wanted this to look like Blago was running the selection but was putting some pressure on behind the scenes. Nothing illegal if no quid pro quo is revealed but the reality is at odds with the portrayal. Now the seat is radioactive and will probably come to a special election — unless IL Dems can find some other way to fill the seat without putting it to a vote.