Rahm Emanuel is wrapping up his third year as mayor of Chicago, and as he gets ready to run for a second term, he’s getting both praise and criticism for the job he’s done so far.
Years before he became mayor, Rahm Emanuel called it the best job in America.
He seemed to relish the hands-on immediacy of rolling his sleeves up and getting the job done.
But he may have a different perspective now after 3 bruising years in office.
The mayor has certainly brought change to Chicago – more change than the Chicago Teachers Union would like – as he forced the closure of what he describes as 50 under-utilized schools.
An angry reaction could be part of the reason for his low approval ratings, but there could be many reasons for Chicagoan’s discontent.
Red light cameras have been unpopular for many.
Cameras near schools and parks are there for safety, the mayor told the public, even though TV reporters captured Emanuel and his security detail speeding through safety zones.
In fairness to the mayor, the former White House chief of staff stepped into a hornets nest of problems from billions of dollars worth of on funded pension liabilities to crumbling streets battered and buckled by the coldest winter in recent memory.
Despite all the troubles, many give Emanuel credit for bringing boundless energy and new ideas and industries to Chicago.