CHICAGO–Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel won the six-way race for mayor because “he ran a textbook campaign,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) who followed Emanuel in Congress when he gave up his House seat to become President Obama’s White House chief of staff.
Ten reasons why Emanuel won:
1. Millions of dollars: Emanuel overwhelmed his rivals from the start with his formidable fund-raising ability. He took advantage of Illinois laws that allowed six-figure donations until Dec. 31.
2. He had a professional campaign, sprung almost full born from the day he started running: press, policy, fund-raising, you name it.
3. A potentially strong rival, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart decided not to run.
4. Chicago’s black community never organized strongly behind former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) the nation’s first African American female senator.
This 2011 election was nowhere near a repeat of 1983, when Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor, was elected.
5. He had the overt endorsement of President Clinton.
6. He had the de facto endorsement of President Obama, the nation’s first black president and a Chicagoan. Emanuel was able to run strongly in the city’s black wards.
7. Emanuel’s abrasive edge was tempered by a circus of a residency challenge which made him into a sympathetic character. Emanuel was disciplined enough not to display in public any use of foul language or brusque behavior. Emanuel also displayed his nicer side when he first ran for the House in 2002.
8. Emanuel had the support of Chicago’s business establishment.
9. Emanuel had the money to run more television spots than any rivals.
10. Emanuel was not dependent on any ward organization or specific unions and created his own organization to win.