Rahm Emanuel’s primary reason not to run: family
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Once in love with Amy.
Always in love with Amy.
Writing a new chapter in his life with Chicago’s first lady Amy Rule may have been the biggest reason Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided not to seek a third term, but he also confided to his closest friends there were other reasons to step away.
“Two thirds of the reason Rahm decided not to run is because of his family,” said a powerful political source close to the mayor.
“But what Rahm wouldn’t tell you is that the nastiness in political life can sometimes be so hard on a family, particularly younger kids.
“And it’s no fun for them having their front yard picketed and protesters blasting their father, when all they had to do was call for a meeting. Rahm was incredibly accessible.”
“I love the guy. He’s a great mayor. But it’s also no fun working your butt off when there are no news bureau chiefs in Springfield to talk to about serious issues, where all reporters seem to be interested in nothing but conflict,” the source added.
“And it’s no secret a third term could bring some bad stuff,” the source said, referring to the Laquan McDonald police shooting and the feared incendiary aftermath.
“Pray for the city,” Emanuel quietly chirped during our phone interview Tuesday after his press conference which, of course, could be taken two different ways: a city with or without Emanuel.
“Hey, look . . . this time I can bring coffee up to Amy in the morning instead of heading to work after my morning workout,” said Emanuel after his stunning announcement Tuesday he was not going to seek a third term in office.
“And she’s going to love it.”
Emotionally wracked by the “empty nester” syndrome when his youngest child was dropped off at college just before his announcement, Emanuel choked up talking to the press about it.
In a phone interview with Emanuel after the press conference, he did so again.
“Look, Amy has always been there for us. When I ran for Congress, she took on the leadership role.
“When Obama asked me to be chief of staff, she did everything. She always did everything. The only thing I asked the president was not to let me miss my son Zach’s Bar Mitzvah. But I left when the health care vote made me run back to the White House.
“There are always sacrifices being made, but Amy was the one sacrificing. Things got deferred. Delayed. Timing never seemed to work for us. It was all about my job, my career. Truth is we’ve been doing this for twenty-three years. So we made time to talk. And being an empty nester . . . (he began to choke up.)
“We are both young. We figured we have time to write another chapter in our lives. So we talked in Arizona together when we visited John and Cindy McCain [in June.] It was sad, but enlightening. Special.
“Then we talked on walks on the beach in our cottage in Michigan.
“And we talked when the kids were gone. Amy was never going to tell me what to do, she loved being first lady . . . she was up for it . . . but then we took stock of it all. Where the kids were. Where we were heading.
“I figured I could have done it for a few more years . . . but four more years? So we made a decision together that there are a lot of ways to get richness out of life. The decision came a few days ago.
“Look, I’ll always be active in public service one way or another.
“But we just decided there were more miles we could walk together . . . only this time I’d be able to bring her coffee in the morning, actually bring it up to her — and be on this wonderful journey together in a different way.”
Running with Rauner . . .
Watch for Illinois’ first lady Diana Rauner to launch her first political ad for her husband’s (Gov. Bruce Rauner) campaign Thursday, and this time she’s not telling everyone she is a Democrat. “Forty years of mismanagement can’t be turned around in four years,” she states.
Sneedlings . . .
Look out for South Side native/ Chicago Bull Jabari Parker, at St. Sabina ‘s 7th Annual Peace Basketball Tournament Sept. 15. at the Ark of St. Sabina, 7800 S. Racine Ave. Also in attendance, former NBA stars Isiah Thomas, Joakim Noah, Bobby Simmons along with NBA refs James Capers, Mark Davis and Danny Crawford, the Jesse White Tumblers and the IncrediBULLS. . . .Today’s birthdays: Idris Elba, 46; John Wall, 28; and Chris Christie, 56.