The Washington Post may be touting him as presidential timber, but a new Crane's/Ipsos poll shows that only two percent of Chicagoans strongly approve of the way Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing his job.
12% somewhat approve, with five percent "leaning toward approving" (whatever that means; it's certainly an odd category for any poll).
13% strongly disapprove, nine percent somewhat approve, and another 13% "leaning toward disapproving." All told, that amounts to "Rahm si" 19%, and "Rahm no" 35%.
These are not numbers upon which to base a re-election campaign, much less a bid for the White House.
In September, the same poll showed 37% somewhat or strongly approving of Emanuel's performance, with 33% disapproving. Couple that with the fact that some potentially very strong contenders decided not to run last time out- Cook County's extremely popular sheriff, Tom Dart, comes to mind- due to Emanuel's fund raising potential and his connections to President Obama, and things ae not looking up for Chicago's bully-in-chief.
Emanuel's struggle with Chicago's powerful teachers' union has hurt. So has the city's notorious murder rate, which Emanuel has not managed to come close to bringing under control. And it's a measure of things on the ground that Forbes recently rated Chicago as the fourth most miserable city in America, behind only Detroit, Flint, Michigan, and Rockford, Illinois.
Who knows? Maybe it may yet become possible to do business in Chicago despite holding social and political positions which do not conform to those of the guy with the office on the Fifth Floor. Maybe the Bill of Rights will once again apply inside the city limits of Chicago.
And maybe the city I love can still come back.