As Chicago burns down around him, Windy City Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made the surprise announcement that he will not run for a third term and has suspended his re-election campaign.
Emanuel announced the end of his latest Mayoral term on Tuesday morning:
Emanuel, 58, was a Democratic congressman and chief of staff to President Barack Obama before becoming mayor in 2011. He followed Richard M. Daley, who was mayor for more than 20 years. His won a second term in a 2015 runoff.
Like so many failing politicians, Emanuel claimed he was leaving office to spend more time with his family:
The announcement shocked Chicago especially since Emanuel literally has more campaign cash than the combined campaign coffers of all the other 5 or so announced rivals. According to official accounts, at the end of June, Emanuel had $7,560,291.05 in his campaign warchest.
And that didn’t count the PAC money that was lining up to support him. On the other hand, his rivals had only hundreds of thousands and less on hand for the coming campaign.
So, if it wasn’t the campaign money, what was it?
Emanuel faces three key hurdles to re-election.
One, news has broken in Chicago that the Chicago Public School system has been hit with a massive and long-standing sexual abuse scandal. The reason this is a problem for the mayor is because in Chicago the mayor’s office has full control over the city’s schools.
Secondly, the city is still melting down over its deeply over spent and underfunded budget. Chicago has millions in budgetary shortfalls and billions in un-funded pension requirements. And Emanuel has been unable to do anything to reverse this trend.
But, worst of all is Chicago’s continued descent into daily violence and death as literally thousands of citizens have been killed in gang warfare in every year of his two terms in office.
In the end, Emanuel suspended his campaign not because he missed his family but because he knew he could not get re-elected.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.