WASHINGTON — Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot will huddle with Ivanka Trump on Tuesday, when she kicks off three days of meetings at the White House and the Capitol, with some fundraising in between.
Lightfoot and President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who is a senior White House adviser, are, a White House source said, “having an introductory meeting tomorrow afternoon while the mayor-elect is in town. They will discuss workforce development and other opportunities.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said Lightfoot and President Trump “are not scheduled to meet.”
Be mindful: That statement does not rule out the potential that there could be a meeting if Trump was so moved, only that nothing is scheduled.
As I reported last week, Lightfoot later on Tuesday afternoon meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top congressional leaders. On Wednesday the incoming mayor is on the House side attending a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus with her fundraiser at a government affairs group in the evening.
On Thursday, she meets with the Chicago and the rest of the Illinois congressional delegation at lunch and breakfast in addition to one-on-ones with Democratic Illinois Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.
For years now, Trump has been a Chicago basher, with Emanuel, a former chief of staff to former President Barack Obama, presenting a tempting target to Trump.
Emanuel stood up to Trump and didn’t take it from him. Trump kept punching anyway. Emanuel couldn’t make Trump stop.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned almost every day last year against Trump, yet once elected, was happy to go to the White House as governor-elect and after being sworn-in if it meant boosting federal assistance for Illinois.
Pritzker, Emanuel and Lightfoot oppose so many Trump policies, as does Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Yet Durbin worked with Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband who is also a senior adviser, to pass the crime bill into law. Both Durbin and Duckworth quietly deal with the Trump White House to forge consensus nominees for federal judges and U.S. Attorneys in Illinois.
My guess is Lightfoot will take the same approach. It’s just a practical thing to do, especially with an infrastructure bill in play. It does not mean an end to fighting Trump on immigration, Obamacare and a lot more.
Lightfoot lacks Rahm’s D.C. headstart
Emanuel, a former congressman, had a head start as mayor when it came to crucial D.C. dealings, an enormous advantage Lightfoot does not have. Emanuel started with Chicagoan Obama as the president and with his status as a former chief of staff.
Emanuel knew where the federal money is buried in this town and which competitive grants to pursue — from the Defense Department to the more obvious Department of Transportation, for years headed by his Illinois pal, Ray LaHood. Obama gave him a NATO conference in Chicago. Emanuel knew every Obama Cabinet secretary and agency head, some in their jobs because of him.
When it comes to working the D.C. precincts, Emanuel will be a hard act to follow.
Rahm interviews Pelosi, in Chicago for Schakowsky
Pelosi was in Chicago on Monday to keynote Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s major fundraising event, her 18th Annual Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch, attended by more than 3,300 at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Ave.
Pelosi and Schakowsky and some others wore suffragists’ white. Lightfoot and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., were among the speakers. Pressley grew up in Chicago, a graduate of Francis Parker High School on the North Side who got to know Schakowsky well because she was friends with her kids.
With Pelosi in Chicago, Emanuel landed her as a guest on one of the final editions of his mayoral podcast.
To my point of Democrats pragmatically working with Trump on selected matters, Pelosi told Emanuel, “People say to me ‘how can you go talk to (Trump) about infrastructure when they won’t give us the information for the Mueller Report,’ and I say that I have to. If we think there’s a way that we can work to build our infrastructure working in a bipartisan way, we have that responsibility.”
•Emanuel asked Pelosi whether the job of president has changed or matured Trump.
“Unfortunately not,” she said. Trump displays “no curiosity, no acquiring of knowledge, no, nothing. It’s sad.”
•Is Trump goading Democrats into seeking impeachment?
“That’s why I have said when people keep after me on the impeachment, he’s not worth it. He’s not worth it because he wants us to go to that place so that we’re not focusing on whatever else.”
•On Attorney General William Barr:
Said Pelosi, “He’s not just a toady for Trump. He’s a toady for the special interests.”