President Obama today arrived in Chicago for a campaign stop for former Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, fully paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
And why not? Rahm has twisted arms and broken knee caps on behalf of two of our presidents. We owe him.
The stop was disguised as an event to declare the Pullman Historic District a national monument, making it Chicago’s first national park.
The Obama appearance with Emanuel, who is in a tight contest for reelection in a vote that is just a few days away, will help gin up black turnout in the heavily African American South Side, where the Pullman district is located. The monument is important to blacks because the Pullman railcar porters were the first to form a union of African American workers.
That the event with Obama comes just days before the election makes it an obvious boon to Emanuel’s campaign, one that could not possibly be coincidental. The White House itself provides the evidence that an appearance with Obama affects elections, given Obama’s refusal to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks before his reelection contest date, a refusal explained by Obama’s concern it could affect the Israeli election.
Emanuel worked with the administration to move Pullman to the top of the list of national monuments ready for designation. Now comes the payoff. And you’re providing the cash!
White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz was gently questioned about the matter aboard Air Force One Thursday. Just a coincidence! Schultz said.
QUESTION: As you know, Eric, this is a site of particular significance to the African American community in Chicago, and Mayor Emanuel has really been counting on a lot of support from African American voters, particularly if he wants to avoid a runoff. Is the President hoping that his visit today will help encourage African American voters to turn out for the Mayor’s reelection?
SCHULTZ: Josh, you are right that this center has a long and iconic history, a very rich history . . . The President’s designation of this area is, again, one that’s been on our radar for a very long time. There’s been legislation to this effect. It’s something that, again, both Democrats and Republicans have supported on the ground in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The President’s support for the Mayor’s campaign is, again, something that — he believes he’s been a very strong mayor for the city.
Well, um, Election Day in Chicago has also been on the radar for a very long time. I’d say with this answer, White House credibility had declined even further, but I’m not sure that’s quite possible at this point.