Who could beat Rahm Emanuel in 2015?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

It was just last week, right after the final announcement of the 50 CPS closings that protesters lined the sidewalks outside the meeting and chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Rahm Emanuel’s got to go!”

It may have looked like a turning point—citizens actually expressing their rage at the mayor—but a quick peek inside the proceedings would have revealed a different kind of evidence. Aldermen, especially African-American aldermen in whose wards Emanuel’s closings will have a disproportionate and deleterious effect, meekly sought to save this or that school, bowing before the mayor’s ferocious power.

Is there any chance, really, that Emanuel will go? He doesn’t have the charm of a Harold Washington, or the common touch of a Richard Daley, but he has a war chest of about half a million right now, and a unparalleled track record for fundraising for himself and others. He also has the weight of incumbency: the devil we know over the one we don’t, and the ability to get tons of free air time just because.

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