Chicago machine politician quits, paving way for Chicago machine politician; Update: Valerie Jarrett to succeed Rahm?

posted at 4:12 pm on September 7, 2010 by Allahpundit

Rahm said he wanted the job months ago and now suddenly Daley doesn’t want the job anymore, and, oh, everything’s working out perfectly!

“The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months,” Daley said at a City Hall news conference. “In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less.”

His wife Maggie stood by his side with the help of a crutch, smiling broadly as the mayor continued: “I have always known that people want you to work hard for them. Clearly, they won’t always agree with you. Obviously, they don’t like it when you make a mistake. But at all times, they expect you to lead, to make difficult decisions, rooted in what’s right for them…

“Simply put, it’s time,” said Daley, 68. “Time for me, it’s time for Chicago to move on.”…

Daley’s public approval rating had dipped recently, with a Tribune poll earlier this summer showing that more than half of Chicago voters said they don’t want to see him re-elected.

Three possibilities. One: He was tired of the job and wants to move on. I don’t buy it, partly because it’s antithetical to how machine politicians think and partly because Daley’s a relatively spry 68 years old. (His old man, who naturally died in office, was 74.) Two: He’s afraid that his declining poll numbers plus the big red tsunami that’s on its way could lead to an ignominious defeat when the mayoral election is held in February. I don’t buy that either, as Chicago hasn’t voted Republican in more than 80 years. Three: Emanuel knows that Obama’s going to shake up the White House after November’s bloodbath and, fairly or not, as chief of staff he’ll take plenty of blame. Dumping Rahm will help soothe the left, which hates him almost as much as he hates them. So, anticipating all that, maybe he and Daley made some sort of deal to clear the way for him? I don’t buy that theory either, actually, because if Daley was angling to make Rahm his successor, he would have held off on announcing this until later this year. The filing deadline for the election isn’t until November 22; by dropping this now, Daley gives other Democratic contenders time to weigh bids of their own and kicks off endless distracting speculation about whose heads are on the chopping block in the White House. To be sure, that speculation has already started — last week Chris Matthews goofily suggested Mike Bloomberg as Rahm’s replacement due to his “communications pizazz” — but now it’s going to rev up fast. Very, very strange. Maybe my first theory is the correct one after all?

The good news for Chicagoans: Whoever comes next probably can’t do any worse than Daley. For your viewing pleasure, below you’ll find a bit more speculation on the, ahem, “soul-searching” to come inside the White House after they get hammered on election day. Note that Podesta said it this morning, before the Daley announcement and subsequent Rahm frenzy kicked off. Exit question: Who’s going to replace Rahm as COS? Tom Daschle’s name was kicked around in 2008 but he’s a health-care guy and they’ve already checked that box, and besides, they don’t want to have to deal with his tax baggage. If The One’s planning on tacking right to deal with the new Republican Congress, presumably he’ll want someone as centrist as Rahm, no?

Update: Here we go. Bye, Rahm.

Meanwhile, a senior Obama Administration official said Emanuel is likely to run for the post.

“I’d be shocked if he doesn’t run,” the official said…

Conversations with plugged-in Chicago Democrats — and boy are there lots of them! — make clear that if Emanuel ran, he would be the clear frontrunner although almost certainly wouldn’t have the field entirely to himself.

Emanuel’s just 50 years old, so assuming he wins, pencil in him as mayor until, oh, 2045 or so.

Update: Let the distracting speculation begin!

Emanuel has told Chicago associates, a source tells me, who he believes will likely succeed him: Senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Other internal names have risen and fallen: Peter Orszag was viewed, for an early moment, as a likely successor; Jim Messina is also a candidate, though bad midterms would do him damage as well; Tom Daschle has the requisite stature and connections on the Hill; John Podesta, who has said he doesn’t want the job, would represent a change of course.

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Comment pages: 1 2

BO must be getting ready to sell out Israel further down the river than they already are.

Only if you think Rahm was holding him back, which I don’t. I think Rahm is a J-Street kind of Jew, who thinks himself very committed to Israel’s survival by trying to force her to do idealistic but stupid things. Given how Israelis treated him when he went over there for his son’s bar mitzvah, they think the same.

YehuditTX on September 7, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Valerie Jarret? Sounds like a perfect plan!

khacha on September 7, 2010 at 8:36 PM

God us help us all if it’s Jarrett. She’s completely unqualified and terrible at the job she has now! I know what will appeal to the One, though — he’ll get to appoint the first black and female COS. Won’t matter that she’s incompetent…

lizzieillinois on September 7, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Actually — what this does is clear the way for Rahm to resign before Nov. 2nd and announce he is running to become Da Mare. That way when the Nov. 2nd bloodbath becomes clear — well he’s out of there already and none of it sticks to him.

SunSword on September 7, 2010 at 8:46 PM

This is hilarious.

Chicago is in desperate financial straits; Illinois Democraps are reeling from the national exposure as crooks and liars; Obama is flailing and failing in the Precedency; and congressional Democraps are about to get an epic ass-whipping.

And no surprise — the rats are fleeing the sinking ship. Go F*ck Yourself, Richie, you illiterate little crook.

Jaibones on September 7, 2010 at 9:26 PM

God us help us all if it’s Jarrett. She’s completely unqualified and terrible at the job she has now! I know what will appeal to the One, though — he’ll get to appoint the first black and female COS. Won’t matter that she’s incompetent…

lizzieillinois on September 7, 2010 at 8:43 PM

So he thinks this black female can handle Chief of Staff and First Lady? Hey, he may as well, I figure Michelle gives him his orders every morning anyway…

“Barry….BARRYYYYY…get Air Force One fueled, I’m going to Venice for a spa treatment this afternoon!”

BadMojo on September 7, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Glenn Beck announced Rahm’s departure and Jarret’s new role a month or so ago. Looks like his inside source is spot on.

DWB on September 7, 2010 at 9:57 PM

I thought they would wait till after November myself.

DWB on September 7, 2010 at 9:58 PM

But doesn’t Rahm really, REALLY want to be Speaker?

JeffWeimer on September 7, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Leon Panetta might slide over from CIA…. That old Clinton Magic. It worked so well in 96.

juanito on September 8, 2010 at 12:23 AM

Might that be the same Valerie Jarrett who brought us Van Jones?

petefrt on September 8, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Comment pages: 1 2