March 14, 2016

Clinton Tries Distancing Herself From Scandal-Plagued Ally Rahm Emanuel

The critical Illinois primary is tomorrow, and for Democrats that means an all-out effort in Chicago. Yet with Hillary Clinton in Chicago today: one important Clinton supporter won’t be at her side: embattled Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

“The Democratic presidential candidate and the former Clinton and Obama White House aide aren’t expected to see each other while she’s in town, Emanuel’s office said Sunday. Clinton often meets with, or is introduced by, mayors or other elected officials who have endorsed her as she campaigns across the country.”

In the past Clinton has stood by her old friend Emanuel, but with Senator Sanders starting to make an issue of Emanuel’s scandals, Clinton is now distancing herself because of Emanuel’s extreme unpopularity. Clinton has won most of her primaries because of minority voters. With Rahm’s awful numbers with black and Latino voters, Clinton is putting politics above her decades-long friendship with Rahm:

“Emanuel, who served as a senior adviser in Bill Clinton’s White House, has been under pressure as his police department faces a federal investigation into the alleged cover-up of a video of the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. His approval rating was at a record low of 27 percent in a poll conducted for the Chicago Tribune in January, and four in 10 Chicagoans want Emanuel to resign. Half of the black and Latino voters surveyed said they want Emanuel to step down.”

Whether they meet today or not, Emanuel’s scandals have thrust him to the center of the Illinois primary. The Sanders campaign has made sure Illinois voters are aware that even if they aren’t on the same stage, Clinton and Emanuel are allies:

“Aware of Emanuel’s vulnerabilities, Sanders has hammered the mayor in the run-up to Tuesday’s Illinois presidential primary, hoping to make him a Clinton liability. ‘Hillary Clinton proudly lists Mayor Rahm Emanuel as one of her leading mayoral endorsers,” he said at a Saturday press conference. ‘Well let me be as clear as I can be: based on his disastrous record as mayor of the city of Chicago, I do not want Mayor Emanuel’s endorsement if I win the Democratic nomination.’”