Will Karen Lewis be the next mayor of Chicago?

posted at 6:41 pm on July 16, 2014 by Mike Antonucci

Speculation is running rampant that Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis will challenge her nemesis, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and take his job. It has only accelerated now that Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle has removed herself from consideration. Lewis reportedly created an unofficial exploratory committee.

A spur to all this is an automated poll commissioned by the Chicago Sun-Times that shows Lewis with an 9-point lead over Emanuel. The poll’s methodology is problematic, but Emanuel has high negatives no matter how you measure them. Dave Weigel of Slate suggests the poll actually underestimates Lewis’s support, adding what seems to me to be an insulting evaluation of the city’s African-American voters:

(Lewis) trailed by only 3 points with white voters, led by 4 points with Hispanics, and led by 18 points with black voters—a margin that might increase if Lewis ran and black voters discovered that she, too, was black.

If Weigel has some evidence that black voters don’t know that Karen Lewis is black, he ought to present it to the rest of the world.

Lewis has serious weaknesses. She would be, almost by definition, a single-issue candidate running against a well-seasoned, if greatly disliked, machine Democrat. And last week’s AFT Convention demonstrated that her pull within her own union has been overestimated.

Nevertheless, voter emotion has carried many a challenger to victory over an entrenched incumbent, and teacher union officers often have electoral success at the local and state legislative level.

They fare less well in statewide or national elections, although the sample size is small. NEA’s new president, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, ran for Congress in 1998 against a very vulnerable one-term incumbent Republican and lost by 10 points. The Alabama Education Association’s powerful executive secretary Paul Hubbert ran for governor in 1990. He lost by four points to the incumbent Republican.

I haven’t researched it recently, but there was a general dearth of national candidates who have ever even been members of a labor union.

It probably wouldn’t be wise to bet on Lewis, but she has a puncher’s chance of toppling Emanuel. If she wins, she would be the first labor union president to hold such a high elected office, since, well, this guy.


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Nope.

joekenha on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

No. She will not. This woman has a LONG history of hateful, racist comments and support of communist ideals. Plus Rahm has $15 million in his campaign war chest to destroy her if she is foolish enough to declare.

Warner Todd Huston on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Karen Lewis the racist, double triple wide garden tool?
Chicago deserves her.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 16, 2014 at 6:44 PM

…the next Detroit!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 16, 2014 at 6:45 PM

We all said there was no way a hack like Barack Obama could get re-elected. Karen Lewis is a whole different level of awfulness, but she’s loud and black and has union support… and in Chicago, that means she’ll win.
Full disclosure: I live in Chicago, and have seen Lewis’–and Obama’s–careers unfold from the beginning.

segesta on July 16, 2014 at 6:46 PM

…the next Detroit!

You beat me to it.

V7_Sport on July 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

At her 400lb+ weight she probably won’t live too long anyway. Might as well let her have it. I mean Chicago certainly couldn’t get any worse.

darwin on July 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

I haven’t researched it recently, but there was a general dearth of national candidates who have ever even been members of a labor union.

That’s a good thing.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Please please yes. Spewis in Chicago and Warren in the White House. Bring on those End Times!

Dirt McGirt on July 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM

She’s got a couple three hundred pounds on the ballerino. Odds on her.

Sherman1864 on July 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM

No. She will not. This woman has a LONG history of hateful, racist comments and support of communist ideals.

Warner Todd Huston on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Don’t underestimate the power of ignorance and race baiting. Rahm may have a war chest, but it doesn’t look as though he has a lot of broad-based approval.

Hey, this is Chicago. There may be a few respectable conclaves, but it’s now becoming as sad as Gary, Indiana – a pit.

As JugEars just said, “the next Detroit.”

Heh, I’ll bet Preezie is selling his house soon.

Cody1991 on July 16, 2014 at 6:54 PM

There’s detroit “detroit”. There’s NYC “detroit.”
So, yeah, we really need a chicago “detroit.”

MicahStone on July 16, 2014 at 6:55 PM

No. She will not. This woman has a LONG history of hateful, racist comments and support of communist ideals. Plus Rahm has $15 million in his campaign war chest to destroy her if she is foolish enough to declare.

Warner Todd Huston on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

The second item is an asset. You’re close enough to Chicago to know that.

And how much does the teachers’ union have? I submit they’d be able to put Emanuel’s $15 million warchest to shame.

Steve Eggleston on July 16, 2014 at 6:56 PM

She’s got a couple three hundred pounds on the ballerino. Odds on her.

Sherman1864 on July 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Get with it, man…. the correct term is “Baby Got Back.” Like MO.

Let’s see…. is she good friends with Jessah?

Cody1991 on July 16, 2014 at 6:57 PM

No. She will not. This woman has a LONG history of hateful, racist comments and support of communist ideals.

Warner Todd Huston on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

In today’s Democratic Party, these are resume enhancers.

SubmarineDoc on July 16, 2014 at 7:03 PM

So Chicagoans will switch one Democrat for another one, a union leader no less. Good luck with that…

ojfltx on July 16, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Please, please let her be elected. It’ll be the best experiment ever to showcase the destruction caused by liberal policy.

Besides, her rants will be epic. She’ll make Rob Ford look sane, and Jeremiah Wright look like a humble Baptist preacher. I’m not so sure even Alan Grayson can hold a candle to her weapons grade stupidity.

Sorry Chicago, but you deserve her.

BacaDog on July 16, 2014 at 7:03 PM

No. She will not. This woman has a LONG history of hateful, racist comments and support of communist ideals.
Warner Todd Huston on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

.

Is that sort of stuff frowned upon in Chicago?

anuts on July 16, 2014 at 7:08 PM

If she runs and wins we should start a pool on how long it will take for the windy city to go belly up.
It will be the end of Chicago.

jmtham156 on July 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Where do I donate?

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834515c5469e201761514ee03970c-pi

Chicago totally deserves Karen Lewis.

Pork-Chop on July 16, 2014 at 7:13 PM

For what it’s worth – Chicago is in bad financial straits. Illinois is in terrible financial straits.

Emanuel didn’t do much, but he was at least making an attempt to help put Chicago’s fiscal house in order. Lewis would be a financial disaster for Chicago, with no possibility of help from the state of Illinois.

In other words, the federal government would be called upon to bailout Chicago.

pilsener on July 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Chicago was built on a swamp…..

kenny on July 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Bring on the crazy.

Fallon on July 16, 2014 at 7:19 PM

You beat me to it.

V7_Sport on July 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

You beat me to being beat to it…

William Eaton on July 16, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Chicago was built on a swamp…..

kenny on July 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM

So was Washington, DC.

Johnnyreb on July 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM

No. She will not. This woman has a LONG history of hateful, racist comments and support of communist ideals. Plus Rahm has $15 million in his campaign war chest to destroy her if she is foolish enough to declare.

Warner Todd Huston on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Um, we’re talking Chicago, right? She is a quintessential Chicagoan.

Fallon on July 16, 2014 at 7:22 PM

So was Washington, DC.

Johnnyreb on July 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Same results. Reptiles love those places

kenny on July 16, 2014 at 7:22 PM

…….Rahm has $15 million in his campaign war chest to destroy her if she is foolish enough to declare.

Warner Todd Huston on July 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

See Cantor, Eric.

BacaDog on July 16, 2014 at 7:24 PM

The Teavana Girl mocks me because I cannot make her go away!

Every time she appears and shakes her stupid cup at me she cocks her hip and says, “Still here”.

hawkdriver on July 16, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Teachers union president and angry and black…?
She takes half the demographics right there before the race even starts.
Try winning an election in Chicago without the teacher’s union or black voters behind you.
Rahm is in trouble if she runs.

NeoKong on July 16, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Right because what Chicago needs is to replace a Throat Cutting Democrat hack pol with a bona fide Communist Teacher’s Union imbecile.

I lived in Chicago for a while. It’s a great city, filled with great people (aside from certain areas where you need a flack jacket.)

I cannot comprehend how they would vote her in (albeit they voted Rahmbo in.)

AYNBLAND on July 16, 2014 at 7:27 PM

So what are the ignoramuses teaching these days other than Lord Alynsky?

kenny on July 16, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Black? I thought she was blue.

Sting on July 16, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Black? I thought she was blue.

Sting on July 16, 2014 at 7:30 PM

You misspelled ‘Huge’ just there…..

BigWyo on July 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Try winning an election in Chicago without the teacher’s union or black voters behind you.
Rahm is in trouble if she runs.

NeoKong on July 16, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Boy, I’d love to see that…just imagine the slo-mo…her gut and a$$ cheeks would trade places on every step…And to think of what’s going on in the chest area…gah!!!

…and then the inevitable mother of all coronaries after about 10 steps…

BigWyo on July 16, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Black? I thought she was blue.

Sting on July 16, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Gotta say these skin color distinctions are beginning to confuse. Dr King, the niece of MLK said on Huckebee that O and Holder are brown and do not strictly qualify as black and by implication do NOT represent black people.. She seems more credible than Lord Alinsky who is several shades lighter than John Boehner.

kenny on July 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Oh man! Is that what Rham looks like these days? At this rate he would never make it through a second term.

DaveK on July 16, 2014 at 7:58 PM

And why not? They were DUMB enough to elect Rahm.

GarandFan on July 16, 2014 at 8:00 PM

I can’t decide if she reminds me of Roz (Monster’s Inc) or Ursula (The Little Mermaid).

Ugh, just what we need here, a mayor who is not only financially illiterate, but isn’t even on a first-name basis with helping verbs.

Ugh.

herm2416 on July 16, 2014 at 8:15 PM

hawkdriver on July 16, 2014 at 7:25 PM

She’s very annoying, isn’t she?

ladyingray on July 16, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Try winning an election in Chicago without the teacher’s union or black voters behind you.
Rahm is in trouble if she runs.

NeoKong on July 16, 2014 at 7:26 PM

What will it take for black voter/parents to realize that the Democratic teachers unions don’t put the students first?

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Like Godzilla in an enormous moo-moo, she will devour Chicago.

They deserve nothing less if they vote in this massive reptilian gastropod, but I’m surprised it’s taken this long for Chicago to finally meet it’s end after all these years of Democratic Demonic rule.

StubbornGreenBurros on July 16, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Remember: “Chicago” = “Stinking Onion”.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on July 16, 2014 at 8:21 PM

ladyingray on July 16, 2014 at 8:18 PM hawkdriver on July 16, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Who are y’all talking about?

Cindy Munford on July 16, 2014 at 8:33 PM

In the keynote address to the Northwest Teaching For Social Justice group, Karen Lewis had this to say.

“I am the only black woman in the class of 1974 from Dartmouth College. Whoo. People are impressed – let me tell you, I spent those years smoking lots of weed – self-medicating. Self-medicating – thank you! [cheers] Sounds like you all did, too. [laughs and cheers] Oh, I’m sorry – there’s kids here. I wasn’t supposed to say that, right? [laughs] Too late!”

oldscouter on July 16, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Rahm….Lewis…Rahm…Lewis…Rahm…Lewis…

Such a difficult decision…I am sure Chicago will make the correct one.

right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Let’s be honest. Chicago is never going to get better. It is only going to get worse. Until it collapses. There are not enough sane people, let alone Americans, in the place to hold it together. Illinois is unable to bail them out because they are just as deep in corruption and waste as Chicago. The United States, at best, is in decline and bankrupt. We are being invaded through our southern borders and the priority of the Federal government, over the welfare of any American citizens, is to welcome more invaders and give them all the benefits of citizenship, legal immunity, and none of the costs.

Go ahead and elect her. It won’t hurt the country any more than it is already hurting, and it will give the Leftists what they say they want; good and hard and repeatedly.

Subotai Bahadur on July 16, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Is she popular with the Mafia?

That’s important in Chicago “if they know what’s good for ‘em.”

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Hey, the Chicago schools are so good, their teachers union president should get an opportunity to lead Chicago in the same direction. Part and parcel of the destiny of American cities – doom. They are all on a continuum with Detroit, going down with the Democrat ship.

Viator on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 PM

I hope she runs and wins. The sooner Chicago is put out of it’s misery the better.Let it burn.

jeffinsjvca on July 16, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Rahm….Lewis…Rahm…Lewis…Rahm…Lewis…

Such a difficult decision…I am sure Chicago will make the correct one.

right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 8:45 PM

BOOM.

{glad to see you here, always}

RushBaby on July 16, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Rahm….Lewis…Rahm…Lewis…Rahm…Lewis…

Such a difficult decision…I am sure Chicago will make the correct one.

right2bright on July 16, 2014 at 8:45 PM

BOOM.

{glad to see you here, always}

RushBaby on July 16, 2014 at 11:45 PM

I’ll bet Chicago is mad Marion Barry isn’t running…..

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 11:50 PM

if greatly disliked, machine Democrat.

I was thinking that maybe it’s time for the good people of Chicago to at least try a Republican mayor even though the last one was a crook. The chances of getting anyone out of that city of either party who isn’t corrupt to run is probably nil, so, yeah, LIB.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 16, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Chicago is dead to me. So much talk, blah blah whatever.

bbhack on July 17, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Maybe this was the plan all along?

Complete destruction.

ha_tspc on July 17, 2014 at 3:23 AM

Dave Weigel of Slate suggests the poll actually underestimates Lewis’s support, adding what seems to me to be an insulting evaluation of the city’s African-American voters:

(Lewis) trailed by only 3 points with white voters, led by 4 points with Hispanics, and led by 18 points with black voters—a margin that might increase if Lewis ran and black voters discovered that she, too, was black.

If Weigel has some evidence that black voters don’t know that Karen Lewis is black, he ought to present it to the rest of the world.

Weigel is a liberal RINO and I have no use for him. But give him his due … that line was hilarious. Lewis is a grotesque creature and almost nothing in her appearance suggests she is black. Jabba the albino Hut is my best attempt to describe her.

Sod off, Antonucci.

Jaibones on July 17, 2014 at 7:53 AM

So WTH is up with the quote function on Hotair’s iPhone app? It doesn’t quote …

Jaibones on July 17, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Chicago is a cesspool.

Yes, it’s name calling to a pointless end.

Just playing umpire.

None of it really mattered until they sent their “sewage” to Washington.

Carnac on July 17, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Are you serious? It is CHICAGO. Rahm is the MACHINE DEMOCRAT. The only way he loses is if he has a heart attack and dies. The DEAD voters outnumber the LIVING voters, and they are a lock for ol’ Rahm.

Skywatcher44 on July 17, 2014 at 9:40 AM

I remember that last year, or maybe the year before, when Chicago was holding a Veteran’s Day parade, Karen Lewis was rallying with the Marxists and Occupy idiots, surrounded by Communist flags.

Rahm Emmanuel is a corrupt pol, but probably not a communist. He is dragging Chicago even further into the dumpster, and the whole state of Illinois as well. Karen Lewis would finish the job, destroying what was once a great city and maybe the rest of the state.

J Baustian on July 18, 2014 at 1:29 AM