I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz through various channels about growing concern in Hillary Clinton’s campaign over her long time friend and partner in politics, Rahm Emanuel. Rahm’s troubles in the Windy City have been growing by the day, with the Black Lives Matter crew calling for his scalp… figuratively for now. His firing of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in the wake of revelations about former officer Jason Van Dyke’s shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times hasn’t sated the crowd’s appetite for scalps at all. The evidence is mounting and it’s looking harder and harder to draw any conclusion other than the theory that Emanuel squashed the release of the now infamous, damning video tape until he had gotten through his reelection bid and subsequent run-off race.
But as of last Wednesday, Hillary Clinton was still standing by her man. (New York Daily News)
‘Hillary Clinton is deeply troubled by the shooting of Laquan McDonald and the outstanding questions related to both the shooting and the video,’ said Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon. He said that while Emanuel’s call for a review of the city’s police department is an ‘important step,’ Clinton supports a full review by the Justice Department.
Clinton’s decision, first reported by the Chicago Tribune, puts her at odds with the mayor, a former chief of staff to President Barack Obama and a longtime Clinton ally who said earlier Wednesday that such a review would be ‘misguided.’
But demonstrators have set their sights on Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez as film director Spike Lee warned ‘some more heads are gonna roll’.
As of yesterday, reporters were pressing Clinton on the issue and she was still stating that she stood by Emanuel and is “confident that he’s going to do everything he can to get to the bottom” of this. That had to be an uncomfortable moment because on the same day, Bernie Sanders stated that any elected official “with knowledge that the tape was being suppressed or improperly withheld should resign.”
So Hillary is still on Team Rahm, but a chorus of voices seem to disagree with her. This is particularly true of those who are invested in the Black Lives Matter movement. Rahm is quickly turning into one of those you’re either with us or against us topics. (Daily Mail)
But so far Clinton, who vowed to “replenish our depleted reservoirs of trust” between law enforcement and communities of color, has only said, via a spokesman, that she is “deeply troubled” by the shooting and “the outstanding questions related to both the shooting and the video.”
As to Emanuel? “She knows Mayor Emanuel loves Chicago, and is sure he wants to do all he can to restore trust in the Chicago Police Department.”
Asking the mayor who spent 400 days eroding that trust to help restore it now that he’s been caught is stationing the fox outside the hen house.
If Clinton is serious about black lives — and not just black votes — this is a moment of truth.
Hillary may not need to worry about Bernie Sanders overtaking her, but there are longer term issues for her to wrestle with here. It’s not enough for her to win a significant majority of the black vote in the general election. (Anyone with a D after their name can do that.) She needs to win it significantly the same way Barack Obama did while simultaneously getting black voters to turn out in near record numbers. If that element of her base views her as “just another phony white politician” and stays home on election day, any Republican candidate will have a big leg up.
But Hillary can’t just mouth the right lines for those supporters as she does on so many other issues. The ties between Rahm Emanuel and the Clintons go back far too deeply and, as it’s often described in politics, he knows where all the bodies are buried. (Some only half jokingly suggest that might be literally true.) If Rahm remains on the hot seat or, worse, faces a recall, everyone will want to know if he has the Democrat front-runner’s support. If she throws him under the bus he could be a very unpleasant enemy to have, assuming he feels like becoming petulant about it. But if she lends him her support, the base may become more than restless as the BLM chants grow outside her window.
What’s a former First Lady to do? This is the Chicago Way, and there are rules to be followed.