The Washington Post has a blog post by Matt Cillizza entitled “President Rahm? Maybe."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, who left a dream job as President Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, has been rumored as a possible contender for the 2016 Democratic party presidential nomination, along with Hillary Clinton. While it cites the acerbic Emanuel's prowess in fundraising and politics, and his media contacts as reasons for possibly succeeding his former boss, the post had more to say:
Emanuel allies insist that he has done much good for the city but it’s clear from the headlines that the dominant story of his time in office so far is the rising murder rate. The Chicago homicide rate in January was its highest in more than a decade and the Windy City has become a national talking point — and not in a good way — when it comes to violence. There’s been little recent credible polling on Emanuel but he has to have taken a hit from all the negative publicity surrounding the murders. And, even if he hasn’t, it’s hard to imagine Emanuel’s potential 2016 opponents wouldn’t dredge up some of those violence stats if he did make a bid.
Well, now there is recent credible polling on Emanuel, and it’s not good for the mayor. A Crain’s/Ipsos poll out Thursday finds that the mayor’s popularity has fallen sharply since voters were last surveyed in September:
Just 2 percent of Chicagoans surveyed said they strongly approve of the mayor's job performance, with 12 percent somewhat approving and 5 percent leaning that way. At the opposite end, 13 percent strongly disapprove, 9 percent somewhat disapprove and 13 percent lean toward disapproval.
In Chicago, that gives Mr. Emanuel a net minus 16 rating, down from the plus 4 he had in September, when 37 percent approved and 33 percent disapproved.
Notably, the share of those disapproving of Mr. Emanuel's job performance hasn't moved much, going from 33 percent to 35 percent. The big shift has occurred in the “mixed feelings” category — up from 21 percent to 30 percent — and the “not sure” category, which went from 12 percent in September to 16 percent from Feb. 12 to 15, when the survey was conducted.
That may suggest that Mr. Emanuel has paid a political price in battling the Chicago Teachers Union, pushing for government worker pension reform and struggling to reverse a spike in murders that has continued for more than a year.
The Washington Post then speculates that Mayor Emanuel might not want to give up on running for mayor to run for the president's chair. Fighting the teachers union last year over a strike cost him politically, as has the ongoing wave of violence in the City of Broad Shoulders. Rahm would be up for re-election in 2015, thus interfering with the necessary lead time for building a presidential bid. Running on a slim chance of a presidential nomination could endanger his chances of winning re-election since his support among unions is currently soft. Democrats contacted by the Washington Post would not dismiss a possible bid for Rahm, but voiced concerns over the "tire tracks" he has left on some opponents in getting what he wants.