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Mayor Emanuel rejects the “Madigan question”

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2018

* Bill Cameron

When asked about Speaker Mike Madigan and the Springfield sexual harassment scandal, Mayor Emanuel went-off on a reporter Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.

The question was whether the mayor’s concerned women voters won’t vote for Democrats because of the way Speaker Madigan has handled the #MeToo scandal in state politics. Rahm interrupted the reporter mid question.

“Guys! The news industry, the entertainment industry’s been affected! Politics been affected,” said Emanuel, “Every areas been affected because people are approaching questions they haven’t dealt with before and should have a long time ago. And if what you do in the discussion of it is say it’s about that person, then you’re putting up a wall and a blind and not dealing with it!”

* John Byrne

“Can I say, I a hundred percent reject the question, and I think that’s really a bad way to look at it,” Emanuel said when asked whether women voters in Illinois might be less inclined to vote for Democrats because of the harsh light cast on Madigan’s organizations.

“You’re not going to find a solution to a problem if you try to personalize it around one person,” the mayor continued.

He then compared the brewing situation in Springfield to the sexual harassment scandals that have engulfed media personalities, making an apparent reference to the revelations about CBS News anchor Charlie Rose that cost him his job with the network.

“And all due respect, I’m taking a question from a CBS reporter, you had a national reporter that had problems,” Emanuel said. “Do I say I don’t want CBS because you had a national problem? I think it’s really, and all due respect, really an antiquated, out of date way of thinking about it.”

* Fran Spielman

“If individuals want to make a decision about how they’re gonna vote because of one person, they’ll make that. But if you try to solve the problems — not the politics, but actually deal with the whole issue of sexual politics in the office, in the workplace or in any other situation, it is not to think about it as one person any more than you think about it as one industry.” […]

“The news industry has been affected. The entertainment industry has been affected. Politics has been affected. Every area has been affected because people are now … dealing with questions they haven’t dealt [with] before and should have — a long time ago. If what you do … is say that it’s about that person, then you’re putting up a wall … and not dealing with it,” the mayor said.

“To say … what are the political implications for women voters in the future — if they make that decision, okay. They have a right to. … But the real honest way to deal with the problem is not to think about the politics but to think about the solution and know that a lot of things that used to be a given no longer work. We’re in the middle of a major change — appropriately, long overdue — in every sector.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:37 am:

    Mayor Spin Doctor Gravitas at work.

    Who knew he was such a “problem solver?” His CPS administration doesn’t reflect that, nor does the 17.5% clearance rate for homicides.

    Perhaps he could turn his mad problem-solving skills to protecting children from predators and perverts in the public schools and solving murders. Those are kind of big deals, if “those people” matter.

  2. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    I don’t know if that was the best way to verbalize the argument, but yes, saying everything is Madigan’s fault and everything would be better if he got the boot is both (mostly though not entirely) unfair and very unproductive. I might even say counterproductive. Changing a culture (I’m talking American culture, not IL or the Statehouse thought that’s true as well) is definitely a marathon, not a sprint, and so focusing on outing a guy who, again, has not himself even been accused of harassment does the movement no favors.

    This comment also might not be the best way to communicate my point but it’s where I am: I get angry mobs like to see blood but that is not where or how progress is made.

  3. - low level - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:40 am:

    Noted, certainly, but perhaps they may appreciate his firing men who had been with him for years as soon as charges were made.

    They may also contrast that with the # of charges against a certain Mr. Trump himself (not staff nor underlings) from
    dozens of women who say he harassed them and his onging denials and attempts to bury the issue.

  4. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:41 am:

    His would be a poor response from any politician.

    From one as seasoned as Rahm, it’s inexcusable.

    – MrJM

  5. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    nice try from Rahm, but I don’t think it works the same way in politics. Madigan had negative buzz before, so more to talk about . In other spillover news, one Senate race in Virginia and one Congressional race in Chicago have a Republican nominee who expresses white supremacist ideas and a Holocaust denier/Nazi sympathizer. the missouri “legitimate rape” candidacy rang around the nation. those two situations this year will also.

  6. - SSL - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:46 am:

    The reporter was baiting Rahm and got him to go off, which isn’t a surprise, but I like the way Rahm lobbed it right back at him with the CBS reference. I’m not a Rahm fan at all, but that was good.

    Politics, national media and entertainment involve incredible power and money, and many involved have no moral compass and are serial abusers. My boring life seems pretty good.

  7. - Chris Widger - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:48 am:

    Really tough. The CBS stuff is a pretty good analogy, but insisting on depersonalizing such a personal issue isn’t a winning line of rhetoric. If you’re in a position of power, you shouldn’t be saying “No, that’s not a productive solution” unless you’re describing what is an effective solution.

  8. - JoanP - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:48 am:

    I rarely say this about Emanuel, but he is absolutely right.

    As a commenter pointed out yesterday, the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield preceded Madigan by decades.

    It’s not just Madigan, and it’s not just Illlinois, and it’s not just the United States. And it’s not just politics.

    Anyone who thinks getting rid of Madigan is going to change that is kidding herself.

  9. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:48 am:

    When our president, who openly admitted sexual abuse, sets the example, it’s very bad. There are many allegations against Trump. If he sexually assaulted even one woman, how can it be fair for politicians of either political party and other political insiders to step down, like Sen. Sen. Franken, when Trump gets by unscathed?

    All must face consequences for sexual abuse and harassment.

  10. - Regular democrat - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    If he going this far to give madigan political cover then he must be running. My previous prediction seems to be incorrect. He needs madigans help in a big way

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:52 am:

    === My previous prediction seems to be incorrect===

    Dude has been raising campaign money by the oil-tanker loads for months and dropping oppo on everybody and their mothers and this is what tipped you off?

  12. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    ===preceded Madigan by decades===

    And, until lately, what did he do to clean it up? It’s the same sort of argument the Raunerites make. “Illinois was a mess before Bruce was elected,” they always say. That’s true, but there’s no denying he made many things worse.

  13. - Whatever - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    Defensive much?

  14. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    –If he going this far to give madigan political cover then he must be running.–

    Huh? You thought he wasn’t?

  15. - A guy - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    Nothing to see here. Move along.
    It’s been his motto all along.

  16. - Regular democrat - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    I based my opinion on the possibility of himnot rumning again on the fact that his internal polling numbers are horrible for an incumbent. He has horribly mismanaged the board of ed from the executive suite to the custodians. Thirdly and most importantly his polling numbers are terrible amongst african americans. These aee very strong headwinds evem fot rahm. Just an opinion based on some real life facts.

  17. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    Rahm is half correct, half incorrect. Plenty of folks are focusing on individuals and missing the bigger societal picture. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold individuals responsible. Madigan has been running the show in the House and with Illinois’ Dems for a very long time. He absolutely bears responsibility for the culture that has operated under his watch. But to Rahm’s point, blaming and removing Madigan will not fix this, and focusing on Madigan alone would delay resolving #metoo and a number of other issues.

  18. - Kyle Hillman - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    “You’re not going to find a solution to a problem if you try to personalize it around one person,” the mayor continued.

    The Mayor is in the middle of several brewing scandals after two terms which show very little success.

    There is a laundry list of issues the Mayor can be blamed for in Chicago - his tirade was less about Speaker Madigan and more about his own problems.

    “You’re not going to find a solution to a problem if you try to personalize it around one person,” the mayor continued.

    I get as the Mayor you want people to think that - but as a voter we elect people to make things better. And elections are all about personalizing issues around one person.

  19. - wondering - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    On this one, I agree with Rahm. Seems like we have a drop of Madigan blood in the water and we have a feeding frenzy. Loved the Charlie Rose angle, should have mentioned Trump.

  20. - DaleyMail - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 12:50 pm:


    But did you notice that the Emanuel Brothers loved being on with Charlie Rose when he gushed over them?

    Or when he laid his little egg that he wanted to be Mayor of Chicago?

  21. - JB13 - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    So… we shouldn’t expect the iron-fisted leader of a state party that claims to stand for women to actually do something to stand for individual women being harassed by his guys on his watch? Because someone else out there did something bad? That sure sounded better in your head, I’m thinking.

  22. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===–If he going this far to give madigan political cover then he must be running.-===

    And he wants a Chicago casino approved in the veto session. Lol.

  23. - Truthseeker - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    The difference, of course, is that Charlie Rose is a diminimous example in the context of Madigan’s organizational importance. Try on Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite for size if you are jumping into that pool Mr. Mayor.

  24. - wondering - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 4:10 pm:

    Calling it for what it is, the reporter tried to jack pot Rahm about Madigan. Rahm gave as good as he got. Rahm is not Madigan’s keeper. It was doubke inferental. Rahm guilty by assocation to Madigans guilt by association.

  25. - PDJT - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 8:42 am:

    He made some good points.

    If we concentrate on one man (not even one accused of anything), then we divert the focus from the problem.

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The Republican hammer is, “Madigan bad.” So:
    - property taxes are high, Madigan bad. (even though, proper state level funding actually reduces the need to raise property taxes)
    - population leaving Illinois, Madigan bad.
    - sexual harassment in state government, Madigan bad.

    I’m not saying there aren’t things Madigan can do, or should have done. But what is more important is, what is he willing to do now.

    That is, if your goal is to solve the problem.
    If your goal is to leverage the problem for maximum political gain, then keep hammering away.
    But remember, if the goal is to leverage the problem for maximum political gain, there is no incentive to actually solve the problem.

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