Chicago has been drowning in its own blood for years. The homicide rates are through the roof; the number of shootings is astounding. The frequency has earned it an unwanted nickname: “Chiraq.” The past two consecutive years the city has seen 600+ murders and 3,000+ shootings. This past weekend was no different, 65+ people were shot, and at least 12 people were killed. In light of the recent carnage, Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a presser, which didn’t make all that much sense. Our friends at Twitchy noted the reaction, especially the line “people did not pull the trigger.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: "You can talk about the weather, but the weather didn't pull the trigger. You can talk about jobs, and they count, but in parts of the city where there aren't jobs, people did not pull the trigger." https://t.co/O7smQpUa48 pic.twitter.com/IZvHFdu2dC— ABC News (@ABC) August 6, 2018
NARRATOR: Actually, people did, in fact, pull the trigger(s) or the gun(s) wouldn't have shot the bullets that killed all those other people. https://t.co/wAOdUNP1fm— RBe (@RBPundit) August 6, 2018
It must be the guns that pulled the trigger. https://t.co/7NArxCfrRT— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 7, 2018
It takes us back to commentaries about how gun control doesn’t work and how Democratic-run cities are a mess. They’re such a mess that Mr. Emanuel could clinch a third-term as mayor, despite his approval rating being below 30 percent. Besides the shootings, the mayor’s office was saddled with controversy over the Laquan McDoanld shooting in 2014, where there have been allegations that his administration buried the brutal video, which could have been “politically explosive” so close to the mayoral election. Emails show coordination between Emanuel’s staff, the Chicago Police Department, and Independent Police Review, which heightened concerns—and yes, protests against the mayor and calls for his resignation her lobbed in his direction.
Now, Emanuel is facing a crowded field, which includes Garry McCarthy, the police superintendent Rahm fired, though that could work to his advantage (via WSJ):
…the large crop of candidates could also be a boon for Mr. Emanuel, as his challengers struggle to stand out. The candidates could split key sectors of Chicago’s electorate, leaving many without a strong base of support to rely on.
“The race will be like 10 cars trying to get into one lane, and it won’t be pretty,” said Pete Giangreco, a spokesman for Mr. Emanuel’s campaign. “So we say, the more, the merrier.”
One of Mr. Emanuel’s challengers, Troy LaRaviere, a former Chicago public school principal, said he thinks the large number of candidates means there is a higher chance that one of them will be able to defeat the mayor.
The election is set for February 2019, but the large crop of candidates could put the mayor on the defensive for the next eight months.
Mr. Vallas has called Mr. Emanuel a bully. Ms. Lightfoot said Mr. Emanuel has an “us-vs.-them style of governing.” Mr. McCarthy, a more conservative Democrat, said the fact that so many candidates are coming out to oppose Mr. Emanuel shows that “everybody perceives him to be incredibly vulnerable because of his track record.”
Mr. Emanuel fired Mr. McCarthy in the wake of video footage showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, in a hail of 16 bullets in 2014. The white officer’s trial will take place this summer, shining a light on one of Mr. Emanuel’s perceived weak spots.
Mr. Emanuel was heavily criticized, especially by the African-American community, for his handling of the killing of Mr. McDonald.