CHARLOTTE-N.C.–Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a powerful testimonial about President Barack Obama’s leadership under pressure on opening night of the Democratic National Convention.But, that was nothing compared to the fiery speech he delivered to Il. Delegates on Wednesday. He sounded like a presidential wannabe.
The mayor literally had the delegates on their feet ready to charge into battle to deliver for Obama. Legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne and Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi would have been proud.
“Elections have consequences…If anybody thinks the President would have passed his economic recovery act and his health care plan if you did not have a majority that was built up in 2006 and 2008 in Congress, I’ve got a bridge over the Tigris River you can buy,” the mayor said.
“So, we have a chance to bolster his chances to be a second-term successful president by electing four [more] Democrats to the House of Representatives [from Illinois]. We may not have to worry about where we’re gonna be as it relates to electoral votes in the presidential [race]. But, to make sure that the President’s vision on…whether we’re gonna invest in education and health care and research and development and infrastructure, which is so crucial for our state” is carried out.
While Democrats fondly remember the good economic times under former President Bill Clinton, Emanuel, a political operative in the Clinton White House, recalled the difficult times politically that he blamed on Republican roadblocks that Illinois now has an opportunity to remove.
“In 1995, they had a fight over the vision of government. They shut the government down. Over what? Medicare. Sound familiar? Education. Sound familiar? Environment. Sound familiar? It’s like Ground Hog Day with these folks,” he said.
The mayor closed with the political equivalent of a call to arms that had him pounding the podium and the delegates standing and cheering.
“We have a different vision. We fight for different things. And we have different values. Elections are about that. Let’s go have an election,” the mayor said.
“We are fortunate. But, when you get through that door of opportunity, do you grab a hand or close the door? Democrats have grabbed that hand and pulled other people in because, as more people enter that door of opportunity, there is more chance for this country to be a great country and we all owe it to the next generation to open that door of opportunity for every one of `em which only a school and a college can give them. Let us extend that hand to the people behind us and give them a chance. Let’s be out there and win in November.”
Emanuel has insisted that, school and crime crises aside, he loves being mayor and will never run for another political office, let alone for President. But, he sure sounded like he was laying the groundwork for a possible run on Wednesday.