Rahm Emanuel takes over as Da Mare of Chicago
Since the economy has pretty much roared back to life, the federal deficit is under control and we haven't yet borrowed every single yuan in China, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner devoted Monday to watching Rahm Emanuel be sworn in as Chicago's new mayor.
Yes, yes, there's a $500 million municipal budget shortfall. But today was an exciting time in the inbred world of Chicago Democratic politics as one Democratic don, Richard M. Daley, who ruled for 22 years after eventually inheriting the job held for a generation by his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, turned over the urban patronage post to the former chief of staff of another Chicagoan, ex-state Sen. Barack Obama, who hired Daley's former chief of staff, Valerie Jarrett, who had hired Obama's wife, Michelle, to work in City Hall.
Even Vice President Joe Biden, who's from Scranton via Delaware, was allowed in for the day to wave to the exuberant crowd witnessing the lakefront ascension and opening gavel swing of Chicago's first Jewish mayor and 46th overall.
In fact, it was such a big political day in the Windy City that as part of the new regime's innovative ways, Emanuel's organization was getting $50G's for the best seats at the inauguration.
This is a job Emanuel has coveted since he was a machine go-fer back in the 1980s.
That's before he became Bill Clinton's national campaign finance chairman and then a senior White House aide and then a millionaire, thanks to a few months at a local investment firm and then a member of the House of Representatives, inheriting Rod Blagoevich's North Side seat that we can't talk about anymore because Rod's on trial again, and then White House chief of staff for Obama to help create the Republican House landslide last fall.
If the recent historical pattern holds -- and barring any more federal indictments, of course -- Chicago should have another new mayor about this time in 2033. You read it here first.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photos: Frank Polich / Getty Images (top, Geithner chats with Obama political strategist David Axelrod and the Rev. Jesse Jackson).