Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Bill Clinton, to stump for Rahm Emanuel, warned by Danny Davis: Stay out of Chicago mayor race


Chicago mayoral hopeful Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) shot a warning on Tuesday morning to former President Bill Clinton, coming to Chicago to stump for rival Rahm Emanuel: Stay out.

Davis said that if Clinton did campaign for Emanuel, it would "fracture" and perhaps break his warm relationship with the African American community if he came "to town and participate overtly in efforts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago's Black community."

Emanuel spokesman Ben LaBolt declined comment.

Emanuel is the front-runner in the Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral primary, a non-partisan election where if no one gets over 50 percent, then the top two contenders face an April 5 general election run-off.

Davis and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) are the leading African American candidates for mayor and neither of them, for now, shows any intention of dropping out in order to consolidate the city's African American vote. Last week, state Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago) quit the race in the effort to boost the chance of the city electing an African American mayor. Even if one African American were in the contest, it could be tough to overtake Emanuel's lead: he is polling well in the African American community. Emanuel is the former White House chief of staff who served under President Obama--the first African American president.

After Moseley Braun lost her Senate re-election bid in 1996, Clinton appointed her in 1999 as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

Emanuel owes his rise in politics to Clinton--he worked in 1992 presidential campaign and in his White House--and Clinton came to Chicago to campaign and fund-raise for Emanuel when he first ran for the House in 2002. On Saturday, Politico's Mike Allen had the scoop that Clinton would be coming to Chicago to campaign for Emanuel, which I confirmed that day with the Emanuel campaign.

Davis said in his statement:

"While we recognize the right of any individual to endorse and support any candidate that they so choose, I am seriously concerned and disturbed by press reports that former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to come to Chicago to campaign for Rahm Emanuel, who is a candidate for Mayor.

"The African American community has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Clintons, however it appears as though some of that relationship maybe fractured and perhaps even broken should former President Clinton come to town and participate overtly in efforts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago's Black community.

"We respectfully request and urge former President Clinton not to become involved in the Chicago Mayoral Election."


Who gave Danny Davis the right to speak for all African American voters in Illinois? What he and Mrs. Braun need to do is go sit down somewhere and make this easier for us all. He's not getting my vote either way it goes!!!

What year is this? 2010 or 1968? When will the black power movement, fade into history and African-Americans acknowledge to themselves that they are equal members in a multi-cultural society. Wake up Congressman Davis. Mayor Washington's election (and President Obama's victory) is evidence that this nation has moved on.The desires of the African-American community are diverse and none can claim to speak for an entire people. The assertion that only a black mayor can look after the interests of the black community is laughable in this day and age. Threatening a former President with ostracism because he is "audacious" enough to campaign for his former employee is beneath contempt.

There are democrats and then there are black democrats. Each similar but very different. The common bond they both share is the destruction of America at the cost of their misinterpreted self worth. Get them all out. What a racist bunch of *******!

If this was a white guy, it would be called racist, someone would lose their job and it would be national news. Bill is a "hired" gun for the DNC and could care less as long as he gets paid. You don't get it do you? You're being used and have been used. You don't realize that there is "voter's slavery" and the Democratic party uses it to their advantage.

Is Danny Davis kidding?

Why is it okay for candidates to appoint themselves the spokesperson for an entire race? If Emmanuel had made the same comments regarding the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago's Caucasian community I would be disgusted by him and would never vote him. Alas, Davis thinks it's okay to make the Mayoral race about race more than substance. How out of touch is this guy?

Guys like Davis (and Meeks...hopefully not Carol Moseley Braun) sicken me. They are running to serve one part of the collective puzzle and it couldn't be more obvious. I feel for those in the African-American community who think for themselves and use their brains regarding issues that effect ALL of us, not just some. Because they are NOT being represented by Davis.

Davis diminishes his own thoughts, ideas, successes when he limits his agenda like this. It's really sad.

Shouldn't the campaign for political office be about the issues and not the race of the candidate? The comments by Representative Davis are racist and have no place in political discourse.

I'm an African-American, and Danny davis does not speak for me. Period.
I think that the polling thus far shows that there are many other blacks like me, regardless of the caucus that chose him.
My problem with Rahm is that I have no idea what he plans to do regarding Chicago's issues. He's not talking. His commercials say he loves Chicago. Hell, I do, too. Doesn't mean I am qualified to be Mayor. He figures he is so far ahead that to say or do anything can only hurt him. Textbook politics, but bad for the city. I can't vote for a guy when I have no idea what he stands for. And I mean on a local level: crime, education, quality of life issues.

Mr. Davis where was the black community when Hillary Cliinton was running for President. Not only did they abandon the Clintons, they were misrepresented, misquoted and wrongly interpreted throughout the campaign. It would seem to me the black community fractured that relationship long ago. Still, you are well aware that is not the reason President Clinton is going to campaign for Mr. Emanuel. They have been long-time friends and have worked together for years. Besides, why would you or any other person take the position that the mayor should be elected based upon race. Why not prove yourself to be the better candidate rather than take the position you should be mayor because you are black.

So how is this not racist?

Grow up, Danny Davis! I'm sure if Obama announced he was coming to Chicago to give Danny Davis' campaign some support, that would be OK then, right oh Danny boy? But then again, if Obama came to Chicago to provide support to a candidate's campaign, the candidate would have to be worthy of such support - like Rahm Emanuel. Face the facts Davis - your candidancy is a joke!

Mr. Davis:

You have no right dictating who can or cannot come to Chicago. Bill Clinton has a right to campaign for the candidate of his choosing.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the Kitchen & Chicago!!

I wholeheartedly agree with Danny Davis. With all the candidates of note being Democrat, Bill Clinton shouldn't play favorites and should just stay out of it. If Clinton moves ahead with his endorsement, it will make me feel far less positive about a leader that up until now I have admired and respected.

With all due respect to Mr. Davis, this is how politics works. However, using the race card is really getting old. Give me a break, please. With or without Clinton's support, at this point, I think it's going to be an Emmanuel victory. Moreover, given Rahm's national experience, that's probably not a bad thing for the city and it could potentially benefit all residents. Of course, if you think there's a better candidate, please vote for that person. That's the beauty of the democratic process.

Chicago voted overwhelmingly for both Clintons. Now we can't hear what they have to say because a candidate with very special interests wants those interests to trump everyone else's in the city.

Is that how Congressman Davis is going to run the city---with censorship?

Sorry, Congressman Davis but you're already showing your bias. The rest of us won't have a chance in this city with you expressing and acting such prejudice. This election is to benefit the entire city; not just Afro-Americans or your special constituents. HOWEVER ... most AfroAmericans already know that the Clintons respect their rights and goals.

The black candidates in the mayoral race are beginning to look more and more incompetent. First Meeks makes an ill advised statement ( not that it was wrong, just not said properly and taken out of context)

Now Davis is afraid of a little political competitiveness

looks to me that the most qualified black candidate is Carol Mosley Bran IMHO

I respect Danny Davis but I disagree with his attitude regarding Clinton. The constant remarks about the black community is divisive and harmful. Rahm will win without Clinton because of many reasons. There are millions of Chicagoans who never heard of Danny Davis. Welcome Bill Clinton to Chicago!

Danny, you do realize this is racism. That is, the way you're acting here. Pathetic .

I am personally offended that an otherwise-respectable Congressman Davis has chosen to pull out the race card where it doesn't deserve to be. Former President Clinton can and should help his friends, political friends and otherwise--and it's time that the African-American community of Chicago understand that "aspirations" don't always equate a "right-to-have". Each one of the candidates, whether African-American, Latino, European-American, male, female, Christian, Jewish, or WHATEVER, is going to be evaluated by the public by what is in their platforms, what level of credibility and skills they bring, what caliber of people they surround themselves with, and how well they unite a very diverse populace in this city of ours. Mr. Davis: your statements tell me that you have not earned my vote and have not earned the right to be our mayor!

I wonder why the black community rallied around Obama, stiffing Hillary across the board in the process? I'd say that was some warm and fruitful one-way relationship the black community took advantage of at the expense of the Hillary Clinton. How about turn-about is fair play? How do you think the black community will like being on the receiving end?


Danny Davis is showing poor leadership here and revealing his weakness as a candidate. Davis is a smart guy, has a PhD and has honorably served in government for decades. I respect him very much but here he's claiming a portion of Chicagoans to himself as his right. He has no right to this claim. His "warning off" of Clinton simply is a claim to race perogative. We should have grown up as a nation and as a city. Americans, as a nation, elected Obama, not just Black-Americans. Davis appeal to "Chicago's Black Community." leaves me feeling left out and inclines me to wonder if Davis has my concerns in consideration since I'm not a member of the Black Communtiy. Chicagoans have grown up and should vote based on the quality of the candidate, not the skin-tone shared by a voter looking at his/her hands about to cast a vote.
Davis' claim shows he is thinking Old Politics while the rest of us have moved past him.
Besides, Davis will start his term already 70 years old. Chicago needs a Mayor able to serve well over extended time as did the Daleys. A mayoral term to be effective must extend past the four-year term which I doubt Davis could do for long so he's effectively a lame-duck juat as he is inaugurated.

Well well, it certainly looks like Emanuel's wannabe leeches are busy behind their keyboards posting the usual "anti-other-guy" rhetoric around here. Never before have so many fake users magically appeared and voiced their oh-so-intelligent prose as to why their candidate is the "best" and any other candidate is garbage just because they found a point to hang their hats on?

The "black" community? You mean the non-taxpaying, welfare cheat community? THAT community? Yeah, THAT'S the one Daley's relied upon to vote accordinly based on whether or not they get their "entitlement" funds, or their "special project" funds, or their "community grants" or any other free-for-the-taking taxpayer money that serves no usefull purpose other than to flood the "black community" with unearned taxpayer dollars that would better serve the ENTIRE CITY if used where it's needed most, such as PUBLIC SAFETY.

At any rate, the Sun TImes' track record for posts by those above a 4th grade reading level just got broken, thanks to the Emanuel to steal the election campaign staffers looking to be the next freeloaders to cash in on taxpayer dollars. Good luck kids, because the white flight will continue as will the middle class flight and you'll be sitting in Chighetto surrounded by your "entitlement" junkies looking for their free cash... and YOU get to be the ones to tell the all the money's gone to the suburbs because the real people in this city all got outta dodge before the likes of Daley/Emanuel ruined them financially with their incessant need for graft and corruption to remain in office.

um does mr davis ever really look at the west side of chicago?

I don't see the other candidates giving Emanuel a break for serving Presidents. Some of them trying to kick him off the ballot for serving Presidents. The Presidents have a right to speak up on their former employees behalf. If not them, who? If you lose respect" for them for doing so, that is your problem. Next time you're applying for a job, I demand you don't put any recs from your former employers.

Carol is our "most qualified candidate"? What a sad state of affairs if that's the case.

I know where Emanuel stands on some issues from his web site. Look forward to hearing more from him and all the other candidates.

Davis' comments are blatantly racist. His whole approach to this mayoral campaign is racist. Take all of his quotes (and Meeks' quotes) and put the word "white" everytime they say "black" or "African American." It would make national front-page news coast-to-coast as examples of outrageous racism. But somehow this is allowed to be said in a public forum with no major uproar?

And Davis is so far beneath former President Clinton that his opinion on his visit should be printed in the smallest print possible on the last page of the newspaper.

Just embarassing. Emanuel will likely end up having my vote by default after listening to these pin-heads for the past couple of months.

Hmm, wonder what this nitwit is gonna say to Brother Barack when he comes to Chicago to stump for Rahm?? Is it any wonder why things are as they are in "the community" when this is what they perceive to be a "leader?"

It seems to me that the fracture and break of Bill Clinton's warm relationship with the African American community happened when the Black Community dropped Hillary and Bill like a ton of bricks when Obama ran for president. Like rats deserting a sinking ship.

Rahm Emanuel proudly identifies himself as a Jewish American and ardent Zionist. Emanauel wanted to be the first Jewish American Speaker of the House. And he also wants to be the first Jewish American Mayor of Chicago. Emanuel is also the only Anglo white candidate for Mayor. Emanuel focuses on his faith, race and religion.

Davis and Braun are being short sighted and divisive by running as the self annointed black candidates. But what about Emanuel?

Clinton is not from Chicago. Nor is his wife who was born and raised in a North suburb. Emanuel also was raised in a North suburb and is a Cubs fan like Hillary. No one was fooled by Bill Clinton's pretensions of either being the first black President or being friendly to black interests. Clinton gave black America Bush/Dole light.

Clinton shouldn't support Emanuel because Emanuel is not the best candidate. I hope Emanuel's conduct with the CHA, Freddie Mac etc. is revealed by someone in the media before early voting starts. I am assuming our machined judicial system will keep Emanuel on the ballot like the Supremes helped out Bush.

What everyone should be wondering about is not how racist Davis is but why does Rahm need to bring in Clinton? The polls show him so far ahead that he could just nap until the election. As one commentator stated he hasn't even said what it is he is going to do for the city of Chicago. What amazes me is that those 43% of the people that favor him are so starried eyed that they haven't asked "hey Rahm, where do you stand on the issues facing Chicago"? If you want an answer to any of the questions that you have been asking yourself about the issues facing Chicago go to "miguel delvalle's website" because this is a man that will give you the answers. Remember Miguel spoke on behalf of the Latinos for Obama at the Democratic convention in Denver Co. He was Obama's fellow senator in Springfield who like Obama work tiredlessly for the average Chicago citizen.

So what else is new. Clinton went from "the first black President" to a stark raving mad racist during Obama/Hillary Clinton primaries due to the incredibly unfair and untrue spin coming from the black academia, pundents and press. Does the black community have no shame?????

Untrue. Ya'll need to just shut up and go away. Don't try to speak for or "communitize" me.

Danny Davis is like 500years old and he's out of touch .....I want somebody in as mayor that can get things done and diffinitly have no ties to that prick Daley ..I'm so glad that grandstander Meeks dropped out may Carol and Danny should follow suit

To Mr. Davis:
I thought a citizen of the U.S. had the right to vote or campaign for whomever they wished, be it black, brown, red, purple or whatever else.
You mean to tell me it should be based on the color of one's skin?
Well, here's an idea: How about voting for a candidate based on the qualifications of that person?
And based on what you say and feel, I will be voting for some else, not necessarily Mr. Emanuel. And will be urging my immediately family (about 75 voters), to do the same.

I very rarely speak out loud on politics, but the older I get the less likely I am to hold my tongue. Please deliver me from politicians who think they speak for the entire Black population. Why would Danny Davis think he can tell Bill Clinton to stay out of Chicago because he'd be campaigning for Rahm Emanuel? It's a pretty sad day when you're threatened by something so minor because he's not backing you. Instead of sending out idle threats, why don't you brainstorm and come up with one candidate. While I never agree with Meeks, he may have something here. But in the meantime, please stop trying to tell me how to think when small decisions can't be made by any of you.

I personally wish Danny Davis would stay out of Chicago politics but he is my congressman for life. Danny please resign from congress and devote your time to embarrassing yourself in the mayorial race.

I've been reduced to voting Green for Congress and most other races.

What Davis REALLY wants to say is that it's okay for Clinton--considered the "first black president of the United States"--to stump for the black guy, but not for the white guy. He and Moseley-Braun are both stuck in the past and raise the specter of Harold Washington at every opportunity to the city's most ignorant, uneducated and incompetent, who probably won't vote anyway. Life has moved on without them and they haven't got a clue as to how to solve the city's current financial problems. If anything, they will continue to surround themselves with "our people" who will most likely create more problems by dragging us back into the 1960s. That's what happened at Cook County. Don't let it happen to the City.

Bill Clinton can campaign for anyone he likes!

The next Mayor of Chicago should be fearless, not afraid of the challenges able to think outside the box and improvise. The Next Mayor should have the proper connections, the skills to run a complex city that is ethnicity diverse with needs of all citizens not just a select group. And definitely not using scare tactics and saying Mr. Clinton’s endorsement will take black votes away. This is a sad statement it shows a lack of character and confidence in your message and political savvy. The vision to move our great city forward in this new Millennium, Mr. Davis you must have the ability to run a successful Mayoral Campaign, this is the first step in proving to the city and its voters you are the right for the job. These statements show serious weakness and are insulting to Blacks in Chicago and American as a whole. These statements further polarize our city not bring it together. The next Mayor should have the skills and qualifications to be Mayor. Being a Black man does not make you the most qualified candidate. Mr. Davis please thinks before you speak. You have lost a lot of votes. And yes I am a black man who was raise during the Civil Rights Era.

It's "may be" not "maybe." Mr. Davis needs a better proofreader. d'oh!

Congressman Davis needs to step back and go way then hide someplace. He didn't do much of anything as an Alderman, Cook County Board Commissioner and I cannot see what he has accomplished as the 7th District Congressman.

I agree as an African American male Mr. Davis does not speak for me I welcome Mr. Clinton to Chicago also, I have my own mind and no one speaks for me!!

As we age, we make pathetic statements without thinking. Mr. Davis should retire because he is out of touch with current times. Danny you do not represent black people. You are not living in the movement of 1960s. Wake up and clean up the west side before you decide to waste your time taking on Chicago. Clinton is free to support whomever he pleases. You are divisive and an embarassment to your people. Please shut up and go away. I am a retired black female and 74 with a degree in business and computer science...I am my own leader.

I would like to suggest that Danny Davis has no right to interfere with the legitimate political aspirations of the White Community

And if you think that statement is racist, then I suggest that you apply the same label to Danny Davis.

I welcome the Clintons with open arms to Chicago, Danny Davis or Carol does not speak for me nor are they going to get my vote,,this is not about a black,white etc mayor,this is about a person who will do right for all races. Why make this a race issue. Mr Davis speak for yourself and the people that's following you ,,,DO NOT COUNT ON MY VOTE.

danny davis does not speak for the black community no more than i do!!! blacks, as well as every other race in chicago dont care who the mayor is, as long as the crime rate and umemployment rate goes down!!!!

With an attitude like this Davis demonstrates his lack of leadership and abilities for any political position.

I just read 41 comments - some proclaim that Davis doesn't speak for me! Others proclaim Davis is a racist, while others are so far-fetched who can ever guess what they are trying to proclaim?

Of the 41 comments, not one ask the question "why would Bill insert himself into a city mayoral race between democrats - surely he knows that each of the top four candidates have helped him to achieve his own celebrity status. So why campaign for Emanuel?

Clinton has an agenda too - and well hidden it is. However, Emanuel's agenda is not so hidden - it is a well known fact that Emanuel cannot win with less than 25% of the African-American vote, even if he is able to get 90% of the White vote, and at least 22% of the Hispanic vote.

Sure, he's front-runner today, but without a good slice of the current 42% voting power of Chicago African-American REGISTERED VOTERS (and while this number exists now - it could go up by 5 to 10 percent by Mid-January when voting registration ends) Emanuel will loose easily.

So Emanuel needs Clinton to siefer off African-American votes - he's not concern about the White vote - if so, he at the least would had participated, even as a Zionist Jew, with Christians over the Christmas holiday in giving away toys, feeding the hungry, or simply recognizing what is dear to us as a people of faith - instead of hiding because he doesn't really want to associate himself with the cares of other religions.

He's not concern about Hispanics, because if he was he would answer the questions about "why didn't he do more for immigration when he was in the powerful position of White House Chief of Staff," or at least join with Sen. Durbin and Gutierrez in support of the "Dream Act."

No Rahm care about two things and two things only! One, he wants to run a R.M. Daley "up-yours and look down my nose" rose garden campaign - that is specifically designed to skip all forums that include any other candidate, control the environment at press conference with a passive press, and to "talk at ya' through commercials and not "with ya" because you may ask the wrong question.

The second thing he cares about is also the very thing he fears the most, i.e. the African-American voters waking up to his tricks and recognizing he is Daley re-incarnated, and as a result decide to exercise their voting power in a thoughtful and consolidated manner. That's right Emanuel knows that the African-Americans holds the Real Key to this election with a solid 42% plus voting block - and that they, and they alone will decide who will be the next Mayor of the City of Chicago.

Tell me African-Americans, can you say "Divide and Conquer." Guess What! Rahm Emanuel can. Do you remember this excerpt from Spike Lee's movie School Daze. "WAKE UP!"

As I read Representatives Davis's statement, it seemed to appear that something was not right.

That something was not in keeping, with professional assistants who help craft such statements.

For those who can remember, I thought back to Ed" Muskie (March 28, 1914 – March 26, 1996) when he had a curious crying spell, that ended his aspirations to be president.

And then What about the time that Howard Dean with hands shaking began sputtering at high speed while the cameras rolled? Why such a wild acting out in such a strange manner?

Of course, That bit did him in: put him right out of the race for president.

Then, from the show business world, the strange acting out of Kanye West in front of the cameras?

What was that all about?

Is there a connection here?

Just wondering what could it have been that momentarily affected Representative Davis's judgment to not be able to see how that statement could be used to play out in the media? (Blindsided?)

Are there forces out there playing a little game on him?....On us? A plan aiming to challenge his worthiness?

I ask this because, Of all the candidates, Davis is most closely aligned with the humane concern for others and general kind good thinking of Harold Washington. All things being equal, Representative Davis should garner a significant number of votes, as Harold did, from all communities of the city.

Would it be paranoid and too suspicious to ask the question: Could he have been 'Gamed'?

Lets see: Dart was in the race for mayor, but his legions did a home invasion, after their informant 'slipped' them the wrong address. Shortly thereafter, He was out of the race.

Then Chico had one of his long term clients in court plead guilty (Though she insists she is innocent) to a Grand theft political for looting the city for the last few decades; any connection?

Now Davis has a thought hiccup, that could be used to take away votes in a separatist sort of way.

Can we wonder if this was a staged event designed to let him trip over his tongue? Make him look like something other than what his track and voting record proves he is; a decent man?

Is it Likely that every word he has said in the last 30 years, both public and private, been recorded and analyzed?

If so, then Can we fairly ask the question: Was this a well planned gamed' event?

Should we search the house for an intruder?

Could we check the visitor register and see if a Michael Finn visited recently?

Oh, good, tell Bill Clinton he can't do something and watch what happens! See you in Chicago, Mr. President!

I would be offended by these comments if I were an African-American. I'm offended hearing this being white. We cannot base elections off of the color of the canidates skin. This is offensive considering Davis is claiming that the African-American community cannot see past color. Most Americans are past the race issue (aside from the few whites, blacks, and hispanics who dwell on race). The more people bring up the race card, the more likely our children are going to learn the same kind of hatred. The American people need to put a stop to this kind of discrimination from our politicians and media. Anymore, it isn't about race anyway, it's about where you live and how much money you make. I live in the hood and I see the same things blacks complain about happening to them happening to every race living in my area (Kansas City); The NAACP would make stronger statements if they did as they say they do, fight for equality for all instead of for all who are not white.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 28, 2010 8:05 AM.

Obama family attend church on Sunday in Hawaii: rare visit was the previous entry in this blog.

Lynn Sweet on MSNBC's Hardball on Obama's achievements is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.