Rahm Emanuel shocked, shocked to discover he's been speeding and running red lights

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has his story and he’s sticking to it. Caught on camera with his car and driver running red lights and speeding after piously declaring that red light cameras were all about the safety of children, not the $130 million dollars in revenue he’s budgeted for 2014, the mayor now says (via Fran Spellman of the Sun-Times):

“As soon as I saw that or heard about the story, I said, ‘Look. Follow the law. Nobody’s above the law. Slow down. Period. Non-stop,’” the mayor said.

Emanuel stayed on message when told the black SUV and tail car that whisk him across the city have $400 in unpaid parking tickets that make the vehicles eligible for the wheel-locking Denver boot.

“You have exactly what I said. They’ll look into it and make sure, if there’s a security situation. But, if there isn’t, they have to deal with that, slow down. Nobody’s above the law. Obey the law. Period. Full stop.”

Up for re-election, the mayor is running into flak on multiple fronts. Kristen McQueary of the Chicago Tribune editorial board:

In most worlds — business, politics, personal — an arrogant person who accomplishes things is not only tolerated but celebrated. Many of us will take an ass-kicker who gets results over a cautious consensus-builder any day of the week.

That's why Chicago voters picked Rahm Emanuel for mayor in 2011. They liked his rascally persona: the dead fish delivered to a pollster who disappointed him, the shower confrontation with an uncooperative member of Congress, the reported, "Take your (expletive) tampon out and tell me what you have to say" to a male White House staffer who wasn't on point.

The strutting. The finger-pointing. The swearing. Come on. We loved it.

But Chicago's affection toward Emanuel has shifted in a way that is different from the natural fizzle elected officials experience in their first terms. Here's why. Emanuel has stretched the continuum in opposite directions. His arrogance is oversized for the record he has amassed. He's beyond bossy. He's a walking personality disorder. But his audacity exceeds his accomplishments. That's a dangerous combination.

“Personality disorder”!  Justified in my opinion, but strong words from a major newspaper.

Rahm is important because he has served in top positions in the last two Democrat White Houses, and obviously lusts for presidential power himself. His brother Ezekiel is a principal architect of Obamacare, and more than a bit hyper himself. I’ve never seen the third Emanuel brother Ari, but he is one of the top agents in Hollywood, which automatically makes him a handful.

Chicago is so riddled with problems, from pension obligations that are impossible to fulfill without doubling or tripling taxes to a murder rate that makes Baghdad look like Mayberry that I would be willing to cut Rahm some slack. But this pattern of feigning ignorance of his own vehicle’s behavior is the sort of thing that makes him seem a hypocrite on steroids.

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