Chicago Sun-Times
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Rahm a dictator or a consensus builder?

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The Chicago City Council votes Mayor Rahm Emanuel's way even more often than they voted Mayor Richard M. Daley's way.

So says Fran Spielman's story in the Sun-Times.

What's that tell us?

The folks at the University of Illinois at Chicago who did the study think it says one thing -- scary Emanuel is really good at pushing people around.

A lot of other people, including of course Emanuel, think it says something entirely different -- the mayor is better at building a respectful consensus.

It's probably both, but more a function of Emanuel being willing to talk to and work with the Council. The aldermen may be rolling over, but no more so than when Daley ran the show.

To cross Emanuel is to get on his bad side. And no alderman wants to be on this mayor's bad side. This is true. But Emanuel also is pretty good, say the aldermen Spielman talked to, at picking his battles, bending when necessary and actually talking to them.

Did Richie talk? Not so much.

Case in point is Ald. Joe Moore of the 49th Ward, who is generally thought to be fairly independent. He has voted 97 percent of the time with Emanuel, up from just 51 percent for Daley. Why? Because, he says, Emanuel has been more "progressive" on the issues and willing to compromise.

Here's the thing: If you're gonna say Emanuel is pushing people around, bullying them, give chapter and verse, show examples. Otherwise, you're just feeding old Chicago cliches.

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This page contains a single entry by Tom McNamee published on April 10, 2013 11:11 AM.

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