CHICAGO--Mayoral frontrunner Rahm Emanuel made no mistakes during the last major debate on Thursday, taking hits from his three main rivals, Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle, who each carved out a rationale for their candidacies.
No winners, no losers.
With Emanuel in a position to clinch on Tuesday, del Valle and Chico were most explicit in post debate interviews with reporters in pleading for more time for them to make their case. If no one gets more than 50 percent on Tuesday, the top two vote getters face a run-off on April 5.
Each candidate did well for themselves--there were no gaffes, but neither Del Valle, Braun or Chico figured out a way to mount any compelling new argument against Emanuel that would seem to have traction at this late stage of the campaign.
Del Valle did well for himself--lumping Chico and Emanuel together and casting himself as an alternative.
Del Valle said Emanuel and Chico are "cut from the same" cloth and that he represents the only true alternative, both of whom made a "ton of money" from their government contacts.
"This election has to go to a run-off," he said. "I am the alternative to the Gery Chico--Rahm Emanuel combination."
Chico claimed that he was able to put Emanuel on the defensive and the debate showed that voters needed more time to consider their choices, all a "compelling reason for a run-off."
After being hit by Braun for his record concerning African Americans, Emanuel cited a number of programs he backed....childrens health insurance, anti-smoking programs that helped African American youth.