Emanuel: Fake Twitter wasn't always so far off

AP News
Posted: Mar 02, 2011 8:23 PM
Emanuel: Fake Twitter wasn't always so far off

It turns out the profanity-laced fake Twitter feed chronicling Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's mythical adventures wasn't too far off.

"There were many times when I said, 'My sentiments exactly,'" the real Emanuel joked Wednesday on WLS-AM during an event with the feed's creator dubbed "The Twitter Summit."

The tweets on (at)MayorEmanuel _ which navigated a plot involving Emanuel, a duck, a puppy, an intern and President Barack Obama's political adviser David Axelrod _ were so popular during the mayoral race that they attracted more than 39,000 followers, more than the real Emanuel had on his feed.

Emanuel said he first heard of it when several friends said they thought it sounded like the real him.

"A number of people thought it was close enough to my old voice," Emanuel said, jokingly emphasizing 'old.'

The mayor-elect has a reputation for swearing that's been mocked on Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and elsewhere, even though Emanuel stayed expletive-free on the campaign trail.

The former White House chief of staff even called the fake feed, which ended after the Feb. 22 election, an outlet for the "calm Rahm."

Dan Sinker, an assistant journalism professor at Columbia College in Chicago, said he started the Twitter feed as a joke for a few friends. He said Wednesday that he was nervous to meet Emanuel, which the mayor-elect quickly diffused.

"Dude, you have tenure, I already called on it," he said.

Emanuel also pledged to give $5,000 to Young Chicago Authors, a charity of Sinker's choosing. Emanuel had promised to do so when the identity of the Emanuel impersonator was revealed.

When show hosts Roe Conn and Richard Roeper asked Sinker if he was concerned about his Chicago citizenship after meeting Emanuel, Sinker quickly said he lives in the suburbs.

That's when Emanuel, who underwent a lengthy residency challenge with hearings and an Illinois Supreme Court decision to be eligible for the ballot, stepped in.

"We're not doing residencies in Chicago anymore," he said.