CHICAGO — Despite his extensive political resume, Chicago’s mayor seems to be taking a backseat at this year’s DNC.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel won’t be attending DNC events until tomorrow, missing the first two days of political action.
He even seems to be upstaged by another prominent political leader in Chicago.
There are deep Chicago roots at this year’s DNC. Of course, Hillary Clinton hails from here. Last night, South Sider and First Lady, Michelle Obama wowed the crowd with her words.
And sitting to the left of former President Bill Clinton last night? Cook County Board President, Tony Preckwinkle, looking rather cozy.
When asked about how this seating arrangement came about — and if she might be shifting gears to a national stage — Preckwinkle said, “I met the president on Election Day, March 15th. He was in my ward, in my precinct actually and I was grateful to be invited to join him last night.”
It’s a spot that at one point would have seemed natural for Mayor Emanuel to hold. Instead, he’s been noticeably missing from all the political action.
Preckwinkle is thought to have been a real challenger to Emanuel if she ever decided to enter the race for Chicago mayor. Emanuel, meanwhile, does not plan to attend DNC activities until tomorrow—for the last two days, and was not called on by the Clinton camp to appear at any of her area campaign stops.
Many in Chicago are still calling for the mayor to step down, in light of the handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting video.
Despite what may now be a strained relationship, he’s still showing his support for the Clinton camp.
“It’s one thing if you want to show your passion for Bernie Sanders, got it,” Emanuel said. “But I would echo that’s the primary. We now have a general election. There are stark differences. And only one person ready to be president on Day 1, and that’s Hillary Clinton.”
Mayor Emanuel has no speaking roles at this year’s DNC, but he’s reportedly hosting a party for Democrats during the convention.