December 2, 2015

With Rahm Emanuel Under Siege, Hillary Clinton Conspicuously Quiet

Longtime Clinton associate Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) is coming under intense criticism this week for his role in the investigation of a 2014 shooting. Both nationally and locally in Chicago, the condemnation of Mayor Emanuel has been swift and unsparing:

  • New York Times: “All along, Mr. Emanuel’s response, either by design or because of negligence, was to do as little as possible — until the furor caused by the release of the video forced his hand.”
  • Washington Post: “It didn’t take long for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s rickety one-bad-apple narrative to implode… A task force is well and good, but Mr. Emanuel, forced into a runoff and reelected in April, has more explaining to do.”
  • Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet: Mayor Emanuel has lost the “trust and confidence of the people of Chicago.”
  • National Journal’s Ron Fournier: “President Obama needs to mail Rahm Emanuel a dead fish in a box. Hil­lary Clin­ton should de­liv­er it. For the in­teg­rity of the only party that rep­res­ents a vast ma­jor­ity of black voters, Demo­crat­ic lead­ers every­where need to send the Chica­go may­or a mes­sage: You’re dead to us.”
  • SEIU Healthcare: “True justice requires that Alvarez and Mayor Emanuel resign.”

As the scandal and criticism intensify, Secretary Clinton has been conspicuously silent on the matter. Emanuel has long and strong ties to both Hillary and Bill Clinton going back decades. Here are some of the highlights:

  • In May 2014, Mayor Emanuel endorsed Hillary Clinton for president calling her “a champion for the American people.”
  • In 2015, the Clinton campaign listed Emanuel’s statement of support first in a release highlighting the mayors backing Clinton;
  • Last year, Clinton said she was “grateful for [Emanuel’s] friendship over now more than 20 years.”
  • In Hard Choices, Clinton praised Emanuel as a “creative thinker, an expert in the legislative process, and a great asset to the President.”
  • In a 2012 email released by the State Department, Clinton called the NATO summit in Chicago, “another Rahm triumph and well-deserved spotlight for Chicago.”
  • Emanuel was the national finance director of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.
  • In the Encyclopedia Of The Clinton Presidency, Emanuel called one of Bill Clinton’s “closest and most trusted advisers” in the White House.

Maybe Clinton’s silence on the growing fury over Emanuel’s conduct has something to do with her decades-long relationship with him. Whatever the reason, Secretary Clinton needs to answer clearly whether she thinks Mayor Emanuel should resign or is fit to continue to serve.