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Does McCarthy even have a path to victory?

Thursday, Mar 22, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I just don’t see this guy’s path

Calling it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save “a great American city,” former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Wednesday he will run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fix an economy that fosters inequity, tamp down ever-rising taxes and reverse rampant gun violence that has sullied Chicago’s national reputation.

Publicly discussing his mayoral bid for the first time in an exclusive Chicago Tribune interview, McCarthy described himself as a “conservative Democrat.” That’s cutting against the grain in a city with an increasingly progressive political bend, but the former top cop said his call-it-how-I-see-it style and a dedication to coming up with real solutions over playing politics will win over voters in the February 2019 election.

“Between the taxes, our economy, the schools and the crime rate here, we’re a laughingstock in America,” McCarthy said. “The prevailing thought about Chicago is we’re on our way down in all those areas, and they all infect each other, and nobody seems to get that. It’s almost like a ‘Wake up, Chicago’ moment.” […]

He has little in the way of campaign cash, loathes the idea of fundraising and, unlike other high-profile Illinois Democrats of late, does not have his own money to pour into a run. He also lacks experience working on issues outside of crime and will have to address the Laquan McDonald police shooting scandal that occurred on his watch. Plus, his entree into politics will be for one of the toughest public jobs in America against one of the country’s most seasoned politicians.

A conservative Democrat in Chicago who “loathes” raising money? He’s gonna run to the right of campaign cash-loving neo-liberal Rahm Emanuel in that liberal city without loads of dough? Good luck with that, dude. Two Chicago-based members of the Cook County Board lost their re-elections Tuesday after fighting hard against the pop tax. And he wants to run as a law and order guy, but a legalizing marijuana referendum just got 73 percent in the city.

* Press release…

The Chicago For Rahm Emanuel campaign launched a web ad today highlighting one of Garry McCarthy’s biggest fans: President Donald Trump.

While McCarthy neglected to feature Trump in his own announcement, it’s clear that the New Yorkers share much of the same worldview, and Chicagoans deserve to know more about their mutual admiration society.

“When Garry McCarthy says he’s a conservative Democrat, the only part we question is the word Democrat,” said Pete Giangreco, spokesman for the Emanuel campaign. “Donald Trump thinks McCarthy is ‘a phenomenal guy’ because they’re both cut from the same New York cloth and embrace the same bitter, divisive rhetoric and policies. But personal bitterness isn’t a way to build a bright future for Chicago.”

McCarthy and Trump have known each other for years, with Trump calling McCarthy “a phenomenal guy.” McCarthy continues to refuse to say whether he voted for Trump or Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

    Trump on McCarthy, who he “said he personally knows”: “he’s a phenomenal guy… he could stop [gang violence in Chicago] if we allowed him to stop it… believe me.” [Washington Post, 8/29/15; Video (7:25):]

    McCarthy admitted that he “knew Trump from his days as a New York cop, when he worked the precinct in which Trump’s building was located.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/27/16]

    Sun-Times Columnist Mark Brown wrote that in a City Club speech McCarthy “decried the ‘lawlessness in America,’” “sounding almost Donald-Trump-like at times.” [Sun-Times (Brown), 9/20/16]

    McCarthy refused to tell reporters if he would be voting for Clinton or Trump, telling reporters, “None of your business. Great journalism.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/27/16]

    McCarthy on whether he voted for Trump: “I don’t think I should answer that question, but the bottom line is – I don’t think it’s anybody’s business who I voted for.” [NBC5, 12/15/17]

    McCarthy on Trump: “I think he does really care about what’s happening [in Chicago].” [New York Times, 3/29/17]

* Video

That Trump stuff alone may be enough to knock McCarthy on his back.


  1. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    So much for an exclusive–he was on WBEZ this morning.

  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    I can’t figure his angle, unless it’s just a need for the spotlight or to troll Emanuel.

    Does he think there’s Uihlein money to be had? Rick Simon money might raise some uncomfortable questions for a former police chief.

  3. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:47 pm:

    McCarthy was the man behind the fake drop in homicides. Just what Chicago needs./s

  4. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    McCarthy hopes to lure two other candidates into the race and suck away all of the GOP votes that normally go to Rahm.

    Then, it is McCarthy in a run-off against an African American or Latino candidate baked by CTU/SIUE/Suntimes, while McCarthy thinks he will have CPD/Firefighters/Tribune.

    Yes, he loses. But McCarthy like many of his former brethren believe there is a silent majority of voters that are secretly glad they intimidate/torture/sometimes kill innocent black men so we can all sleep at night.

    It just ain’t so, but don’t try telling McCarthy that.

  5. - Just Me - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    Clearly he has a political consultant telling him he can win (and is charging him exorbitant fees at the same time).

  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    If he can get the votes of all of the former New Yorkers who have been high profile failures in Chicago, a path starts to emerge.

    Unfortunately for McCarthy, that path heads east, back out of town. I hope the door doesn’t hurt too much when it hits him on his way out.

  7. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    I can’t figure out where he thinks his base of support is going to come from. Cops? Not wildly popular with them. And he is certain to face being called whatever the New York to Chicago equivalent of a carpetbagger is even more than Rahm had to deal with. Chicagoans don’t particularly seem to like being told what to do by East Coasters who just arrived in town in 2011.

  8. - We'll See - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    I’m guessing this is more about grinding the ax than winning.

  9. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    “Does McCarthy even have a path to victory?”


    This is one of those consultant-driven ego trips. He has zero path. Zero chance.

  10. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:55 pm:

    I’m struggling to find McCarthy’s logic in his argument that Rahm covered up the McDonald shooting to make the police look bad.

    Am I mistake, or if there was a coverup, would it not have:

    a. had McCarthy as party to the cover-up and
    b. been designed to, ahem, cover up the shooting, the idea being no one would know.

  11. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    There’s a whole bunch of people that think that McCarthy got a raw deal and can win this thing. First and foremost there’s McCarthy and then there’s, um, well never mind.

  12. - Mike Cirrincione - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    If anything doesn’t think that Van Dyke is going to be acquitted, your crazy.

    That is the wild card in the mayoral race.

  13. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    This isn’t 1983, there’s no path for this in the city.

  14. - James the Intolerant - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    I have never seen him really grilled on when did you see the film? Who did you tell?
    He was fine with Rahm until he got fired. After the ads are done on him, my guess is he will wish he never ran.

  15. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:14 pm:

    This campaign has the potential for being a huge flameout before we even get to election day.

  16. - Steve - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    McCarthy’s odds are long , especially when Rahm starts slinging the dirt. However, McCarthy may not win but… soften up Rahm for someone else to win in the next Mayoral election cycle. This may be McCarthy’s real revenge..

  17. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    –..soften up Rahm for someone else to win in the next Mayoral election cycle. –

    2023? The Return of Lisa Madigan Conspiracy?

  18. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    Why would you announce the day after a general primary when the populace is sick to death of the campaigns?

  19. - and as it is such - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    Pete G and the rest of Rahm’s campaign communications team probably have the talent to bury McCarthy if they were only allowed to write on typewriters with one hand tied behind their back.

    Whatever drinking buddies of McCarthy are urging this on should stop before their friend destroys any future career prospect.

  20. - Sharon - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    The swift and fierce response from Team Rahm should put the other would-be contenders on notice that this isn’t going to be the experience they think it is.

  21. - jimk849 - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    Be sure to read Second City Cop in coming days to get a feel for how the Cops feel about Mc comstat or Mc streetlight or whatever else name they pin on him going forward.

  22. - Rocky Rosi - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    He is wasting his time and personal money. If he was running in WV or Montana he might have a chance but not in Chicago/IL.

  23. - RoscoeRatMatt - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    Nice strategy but I despise Rahm more than I despise both Trump and McCarthy, and quite a considerable degree more than both, too. I voted for Trump and have never done so for Emanuel. I’m more interested in McCarthy’s candidacy for what we voters may learn about the behind-the-scenes machinations that took place after the LaQuan McDonald shooting that Emanuel covered up for his own political expediency. I’d vote for any alternative to be rid of him.

  24. - PJ - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    == I’d vote for any alternative to be rid of him.==

    You’re a Trump voter who despises Trump, and would vote for the police commander at the time of the McDonald shooting because you’re upset about the cover up of the McDonald shooting?

    I have some questions for you…

  25. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    The only thing a McCarthy candidacy would guarantee is a runoff.

  26. - A guy - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    There’s a path alright. A path for Chuy, if both Emmanuel and McCarthy are in the race. Hmmm

  27. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    –A path for Chuy.–

    Chuy’s going to Congress in January.

  28. - 44th - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    In a city that releases criminals on no/low bail, and pleads them out on probation even when they have illegal guns (so much for gun control) how can a law and order candidate survive? Not when the machine controls all the levers and has decided to release the criminals and set them free to pray on the citizens.

  29. - A guy - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    ===Chuy’s going to Congress in January.===


  30. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    –Chuy’s going to Congress in January.–

    No risk to run for mayor.

  31. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    You all are assuming that the Rahmster is running..

  32. - Railrat - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    Maybe Proft will support McCarthy that’s special ! Lol

  33. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:07 pm:

    –You all are assuming that the Rahmster is running..–

    I assume you don’t pay attention. He’s been quite open about for some time.

  34. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    Who brought Trump’s pal McCarthy to Chicago and appointed him Chief of Police? Judging from the opp research and video, da Mayor must be pretty nervous about his former chief of police who he threw under the bus.

  35. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    that Alderman who posed with Ives should be in McCarthy’s corner.

  36. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    I have always doubted Trump’s story about some high-ranking cop telling him he could solve the crime problem in a few days if his hands were not tied. But if there is a core of truth, McCarthy fits the profile of someone who would have said that to Trump–and their close relationship would have given him the opportunity

  37. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    –No risk to run for mayor.–

    I guess, but that would take a special brand of chutzpah to start a campaign for mayor for an election in February, 2019 while running for Congress in November, 2018 and just starting that job a month or so before the mayoral election. “Sorry I can’t attend orientation, gotta knock on some doors back home!”

  38. - TaylorvilleTornado - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    He’s a New Yorker. Based on that alone, he doesn’t stand a chance.

  39. - Ron - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    Gary has little chance but he will do well enough. People are fed up with catch and release of career criminals.

  40. - A guy - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    ==I guess, but that would take a special brand of chutzpah==

    Agreed. But see Rich Daley winning a States Attorney race and immediately running for mayor. If you voted for Emmanuel and wish you voted for Chuy, and the race is split up…it’s something to consider and it’s not the first time something like this has happened. Just saying.

  41. - a drop in - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    “Calling it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save “a great American city,” ”

    What’s up with the hubris of these Trump-like people? He’s just another politician wannabe, not Mighty Mouse.

  42. - Anon35 - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    I don’t think he has a path, but if they weren’t afraid of him, they wouldn’t be trying to take him out so quickly. Rahm’s approval rating is awful, and McCarthy can definitely land some blows to soften him up for 2019.

  43. - Anon35 - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    I also think it’s highly unlikely Chuy would run after taking Luis’ seat. I think he would lose his base of Hispanics.

  44. - Veil of Ignorance - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    It’s a revenge spoiler campaign. McCarthy could shave votes away from Emanuel and help force a run-off by not allowing voters to forget both Laquon McDonald and the crime issue. Perhaps that alone might change Rahm’s calculation about running again…can he stomach another run-off? I’m guessing the answer is yes because he can’t stand stepping out of the spotlight. Not while Trump gives him an easy foil.

  45. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    –I guess, but that would take a special brand of chutzpah to start a campaign for mayor for an election in February, 2019 while running for Congress in November, 2018 and just starting that job a month or so before the mayoral election.–

    Worked for Harold.

    I have no insight that he would, but he’s a Chicago politician and mayor is the ultimate gig. If he sees a running lane for mayor, again, no risk.

  46. - Ron - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 5:13 pm:

    Chuy would have been a complete disaster for Chicago. Still would be.

  47. - Anon35 - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 7:01 pm:

    More than Rahm, Ron? His record hasn’t exactly been stellar.

  48. - We Can Hope - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 7:09 pm:

    This is “Revenge” pure and simple.

  49. - Rutro - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 9:02 pm:

    No path, won’t even win areas where police and fire dominate. He’s not even good at law and order. He’s pretty good on his feet, but way way too much baggage to win anything.

  50. - siriusly - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 9:33 pm:

    He actually helps Rahm. If you want to blame one of the candidates for police issues - you blame him MORE

  51. - Ron - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 9:42 pm:

    Rahm has created one of the greatest job booms in the last 30 years in Chicago. We now are attracting high income, highly educated people and have the highest educated population of the top 7 largest US cities. Tourism is booming, construction is booming.

  52. - Ron - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 9:43 pm:

    Chicago has more jobs downtown than ever in it’s history. Breaking records two years in a row.

  53. - Ron - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 9:44 pm:

    Chuy wants to coddle public workers and waste money on empty schools. He doesn’t like to be tough on criminals.

  54. - Ron - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 9:46 pm:

    Chuy would love to tax employers to pay for his ctu overlords

  55. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 18 @ 11:53 pm:

    Thomas Paine @ 1:48 pm- “But McCarthy like many of his former brethren believe there is a silent majority of voters that are secretly glad they intimidate/torture/sometimes kill innocent black men so we can all sleep at night.”

    There are a lot of people like that in enclaves on the south side, like Beverly, and on the north side, like Edgebrook. I know, I grew up with them, cops and firemen who have to live in Chicago city limits.

    “It just ain’t so, but don’t try telling McCarthy that.”

    Disagree with the statement that there are not people who actually want the police to be corrupt. They exist, where I come from they are called “police families.” Fathers, sons, uncles, all cops. I know people who to this day defend Jon Burge. They justify police torture of Burge suspects by saying that if the guy didn’t do that murder, he probably did something else. I am not making this up.

  56. - Practical Politics - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 12:02 am:

    The swiftness of Rahm’s rapid response to McCarthy’s announcement is something of a surprise. I do not see the former police superintendent as a formidable opponent, but Emanuel’s over the top response ad makes one wonder if he is taking no chances because he is insecure.

  57. - Anon35 - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 5:46 am:

    Ron, if you believe any of Rahm’s manipulated statistics, I have a pedestrian bridge in Florida I’d like to sell you. All of his press releases about tourism and job growth have been debunked.

  58. - Ron - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 6:25 am:

    Please show me manipulation of job numbers? They are published by the BLS.

  59. - Ron - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 6:27 am:

    The hotel occupancy numbers are produced by independent third parties. What do you have?

  60. - Ron - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 8:05 am:

    So the feds are making up job number for Rahm? STR is falsifying hotel stats? Proof for any of this?

  61. - Ron - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 8:55 am:

    Rahm sure is a master illusionist. All those cranes just mirages?

  62. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 9:18 am:

    Anonymous 11:53 pm. Interesting. Of the cop families you describe, is it a cop versus citizen thing or a racist thing. Do your cop family friends support Mohammed Noor killing Justine Damond?(in the news today) No snark, just curious.

  63. - anon35 - Friday, Mar 23, 18 @ 1:19 pm:

    Lewis Lazare called into question the number of vacancies as the Emanuel Admin equates them to the outlandish claim of 55 million tourists (mathematically ambitious, but quite unlikely given that it would be the equivalent of nearly 1 in 6 residents of the US visiting Chicago as a tourist):

    Or, let’s look at his baked-in half-truths about ending Scoop and Toss:

    Employment, you ask:

    Claims about faster growth that NY or DC?

    And what about education, does what’s going on with CCC bother you at all?

    While we’re on the topic of education, what say you about Rahm’s claims that he extended pre-K program, but did so with a loan, that actually doubles and is paid to, none other than Pritzker, Goldman Sachs, and the like:

    And on the point of crime, and the Emanuel administration burying McDonald tape on the heels of re-election to his second term:

    Or, according to CWB, while Emanuel and Eddie claim crime across the board is down, but look at this staggering statistic, armed robberies in downtown and near north are up a whopping 392% since 2014:

    And if those stats don’t alarm you, check out heyjackass for up to date tracking on Carjackings, shootings, etc., and be thankful that we’ve head a pretty cold winter thus far.

    Good day.

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