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Former Obama aide Rahm Emanuel wins Chicago mayoral election

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:39 EDT
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US President Barack Obama’s ex-enforcer Rahm Emanuel was crowned mayor of Chicago, picking up the mantle from retiring mayor Richard Daley, who has governed the US city for 22 years.

“I want to extend my congratulations to Rahm Emanuel on a well-deserved victory tonight,” Obama said in a statement released minutes after Emanuel’s acceptance speech.

“As a Chicagoan and a friend, I couldn’t be prouder. Rahm will be a terrific mayor for all the people of Chicago.”

Emanuel, who will be the Windy City’s first Jewish mayor, pledged to work to overcome the “old divisions and old ways that have held Chicago back.”

He takes control of the ethnically, racially and economically divided midwestern city on May 16.

“What makes this victory most gratifying is that it was built on votes from every corner of this city, from people who believe that a common set of challenges must be met with a common purpose,” Emanuel told supporters.

The famously foul-mouthed Emanuel was the clear front-runner in the race to run America’s third-largest city ever since he resigned as White House chief of staff and moved back to Chicago in October.

And so, in a move characteristic of rough and tumble Chicago politics, opponents tried to cut him off in the courts, saying he had abandoned his Chicago residency when he moved his family to Washington to work for Obama.

The challenge added ample drama to the otherwise pre-ordained race but failed to derail Emanuel, who was born in Chicago and served a slice of the city for years in the US House of Representatives.

Emanuel handily captured the majority needed to avoid a runoff despite facing off against five other candidates, winning 55 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting.

The shrewd politico, whose uncompromising style earned him the nickname “Rahmbo,” is expected to replicate Daley’s iron-fisted tactics and focus on maintaining Chicago’s reputation as “the city that works.”

“What people want in their mayor is a larger-than-life figure who’s strong enough and tough enough to move this city forward, and Rahm Emanuel has that,” former senior White House advisor David Axelrod told NBC Chicago.

“He’s a guy who gets the job done,” added Axelrod, who recently stepped down to work on Obama’s reelection campaign.

Emanuel paid tribute to Daley in his acceptance speech and vowed to continue his legacy of making Chicago a “world-class city, while other cities around us faltered.”

“Rich Daley is the only mayor a whole generation of Chicagoans have know,” Emanuel said.

“Nobody has ever loved Chicago more, or served it with greater passion or commitment. This city bears his indelible imprint, and he has earned a special place in our hearts and our history.

“It’s an impossible act to follow. Yet we have to move forward.”

Emanuel pledged to work with city employees to overcome Chicago’s budget deficit and to draw parents and community members into the fight to improve schools and make the city’s streets safe.

“While the election was hard fought it was only the beginning,” Emanuel said.

“We have not won anything until a kid can go to school thinking of their studies and not their safety…. or until the parent of that child is thinking about their work and not where they’re going to find work.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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  • Anonymous

    How wonderful… the neocons now own Chicago. Good luck with that.

  • Anonymous

    I love it! The people of Chicago have spoken. Now those that shout that montra in WI about Gov. Walker need shut up, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Go teabag yourselves! Ha!

  • Anonymous

    Like a moth attracted to the bright lights. If you think that this is the end of the “corruption”………

  • Anonymous

    If you have been in a coma for 43 years and just woke up this song may still be on the billboard:

    “Chicago” -Nash, 1970

    Though your brother’s bound and gagged
    And they’ve chained him to a chair
    Won’t you please come to Chicago
    Just to sing
    In a land that’s known as freedom
    How can such a thing be fair
    Won’t you plaese come to Chicago
    For the help we can bring
    We can change the world -
    Re-arrange the world
    It’s dying – to get better
    Politicians sit yourself down,
    There’s nothing for you here
    Won’t you please come to Chicago
    For a ride
    Don’t ask Jack to help you
    Cause he’ll turn the other ear
    Won’t you please come to Chicago
    Or else join the other side
    We can change the world -
    Re-arrange the world
    It’s dying – if you believe in justice
    It’s dying – and if you believe in freedom
    It’s dying – let a man live it’s own life
    It’s dying – rules and regulations, who needs them
    Open up the door
    Somehow people must be free
    I hope the day comes soon
    Won’t you please come to Chicago
    Show your face
    From the bottom to the ocean
    To the mountains of the moon
    Won’t you please come to Chicago
    No one else can take your place
    We can change the world -
    Re-arrange the world
    It’s dying – if you believe in justice
    It’s dying – and if you believe in freedom
    It’s dying – let a man live it’s own life
    It’s dying – rules and regulations, who needs them
    Open up the door
    We can change the world

  • Anonymous

    people of chicago who think this is a good thing: rahm is as blue dog right wing as they get….gird yourselves.

  • cannotvote

    Very suspect!

  • ThorsteinVeblen2012

    I’m a progressive, not a Democrat.

    Rahm Emanuel is a Democrat not a progressive.

    Anything he does only has the patina of liberalism underneath the surface is neoliberalism.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U4CB4JMBKUBO6NL2RNREZDZUEA Freeky_Fried_Chicken

    So – it’s official: Chicago has no soul.

  • Anonymous

    meet the new mayor same as the the old mayor…ya got fooled again

  • Anonymous

    How dumb can you be?

    And here I thought Kansas was the dumbest place in the United States.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZXISEHECKZJJR3PAXNYFPCPU24 Secret Weapon

    Organized crime wears a suit and tie.

  • Anonymous

    Miracle!, Miracle!, Miracle !

  • Anonymous

    Miracle! Miracle! Miracle!

  • Anonymous

    As a Chicagoan I can live with Rahm Emmanuel as the mayor. But it’s not like we had great alternatives to choose from either. It was either Rahm or crazy (Chico), ditzy (Del Valle), stupid & petty (Moseley-Braun), invisible (Watkins), & lazy (Walls). Literally those we’re our choices. At least this guy’s got a brain and some toughness to him.

    Wish us well America as we strive to reinvigorate & reinvent ourselves as a world class city amidst a sour & worsening economy.

  • Anonymous

    Man I LOVE Chicago but an israeli zionist for mayor? C’mon you’guys, what is up? Man I wish that guy could have been a better ballerina we might have been spared. You know I was thinking, we have got to get rid of the TV sets, then maybe people can start to think again.

  • http://twitter.com/PitchforkTorchz Cold Hard Truth

    another win for Israel, AIPAC and MOSSAD.
    You’re all conspiracy theorist goyim so its important that you stay silent while AIPAC runs the country into the ground.
    Don’t ask questions about Diebold voting machines, just go back to watching Jersey Show and American Idol and leave our Federal Reserve alone.
    Dont worry goyim , we will get this World War 3 going soon and you can kill each other off and fill our bank accounts.
    Remember Islam is evil and their people want us to control the oil and heroin.
    go back to sleep.
    AIPAC is in charge and it won’t be long before we get back to dumping white phosphorus on some Palestinian civilians, woman and children preferably.
    any of you goyim that have a problem with this are anti semites.

  • Anonymous

    come on people …………. you can still vote GOP to run CHICAGO…………..

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Good…I was afraid that Chicago would be lost without a Daley to maintain the proper level of “Fall Of Rome” style corruption that characterizes Chicago politics…

    …but it appears they’re in good hands.

  • TheDevilCanDance

    MAN WAS RAPED BY BLOND ALIEN WOMEN
    http://libertarians-suck-ass-dot com

  • TheDevilCanDance

    Aww, the puny Arab hater is also a Glenn Beck fanboy :)

    Tell us, little Eichmann. do you raise your arm and scream “Hell Hitler” before or after wiping your ass?

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