President Emanuel, Or Possibly Next Dictator?

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President Emanuel, Or Possibly Next Dictator?
Southwest News-Herald Friday, March 08, 2013

The political circles are already ripe with rumors that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning to run for president, rumors probably fed by his own ego and high paid aides.

Why not get people started on it? That’s exactly how he became mayor of Chicago, when rumors began that he wanted to be mayor of Chicago and then essentially said that he might run, but only if Mayor Richard M. Daley decided not to seek re-election.

Lo and behold, Daley shocked everyone by becoming the first mayor in our generation to announce he had no plans to seek re-election, after exceeding the 22-year record set by his father, the original creator of the Chicago Machine, Richard J. Daley.

Emanuel is reportedly telling close confidants that he would run only if Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, a former U.S. Senator from New York and the former first lady in the Bill Clinton Administration, decided not to run in 2016.

If Emanuel says he’d only do it if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run, you can bet he doesn’t think Hillary Clinton is going to run for president.

Hillary Clinton looks tired from her four years fighting the good fight for Obama across the globe, not often to great success. The job would age anyone and Hillary Clinton looks aged and tired. Would she run three years from now?

First, you can’t wait until 2015 to start running. In today’s political world and Internet-driven society, you have to start now. Now!

That’s why Emanuel, who has been mayor of Chicago just shy of two years, is already off and running. His first job will be to secure a successor. Maybe he might cut a deal with Gery Chico, who was always Chicago’s best choice for Chicago mayor but who was held back by bad choices on his friends. Chico does have the backing of one great political mind in Chicago, Chicago Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th).

Yet what gives Emanuel the right to aspire to such a high national office when he can’t seem to get his arms around the problems that continue to plague Chicago?

Crime and street gang violence is out of control in Chicago. It’s amazing how the media gives him a pass. The mainstream media loves Emanuel, and his honeymoon with the news media has never ended.

The schools are a wreck. Instead of building alliances with suburban voters, he is pillaging them by imposing draconian water rate increases and forcing suburbanites in Cook County — many of whom today are Democrats and no longer Republicans — to suffer excess water rate fee hikes that target seniors and others on fixed incomes.

Despite his claims of embracing diversity, his administration is less diverse than any previous Chicago mayor. And he’s played duplicitous politics, cutting deals with both sides of political warlords in the African American, Hispanic and white communities.

Emanuel is a guy who just wants to make everyone feel happy, while achieving what? What has Emanuel achieved in two years?

Had Emanuel cut down the violence, for example, and miraculously gotten the street gang shootings under control, I’d be cheering to push him for mayor. He’d have earned the spot. But he hasn’t done that.

Instead, Emanuel discriminates against community media, ignoring reporters based on race and politics.

Emanuel for President? He can raise the money. But does he have what it takes to make this a better country? He can’t even improve Chicago.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @RayHanania.) — City & Suburban News-Herald

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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