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February 19, 2011
WILL THE CITY OF THE BIG SHOULDERS DON A TUTU?
Arshad M Khan
Chicago is the heart of America's agricultural and industrial base -- from
slaughterhouses, grain dealing, steel mills, even Al Capone, it is a man's
town ... settling its differences in blood and guts. For a long time it was run
by Mayor Richard J. Daley, the Boss. After him came a series of short-timers
until the son Richard M. took over. He rounded those big shoulders just a
little ... building 'parks and arts'. Now comes Rahm Emmanuel, a former high
school ballet dancer, currently leading in the Mayoral candidate polls and
loaded with outside money.
If you are a ballet dancer in high school, you have to do something for
self-preservation -- oh, yes, we older folks understand dance exhibits
graceful masculinity ... but high schoolers? Rahm's solution against the
inevitable ribbing was to take up swearing ... with a vengeance. The habit
has stuck ... but so has the vision of him pirouetting in a tutu.
Imagine a confab of mayors: the Milwaukee guy hoists a six-pack, Chicago's
man pulls up tights and walks with splayed feet. It's a fate worse than ... .
Will the embarrassment lead to another flight to the 'burbs? Will rivals start
calling the White Sox the White Tights? Will opposing fans rename the
Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Belles? Will the Blackhawks become known as
the White Swans? Think hard Chicagoans; think what's going to happen to
One can imagine Rahm at his inauguration -- a pirouette, a leap, a pirouette, a
bow, places a crown on his head turning a frog into a prince.
This is the man who has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and a M.A. in Speech and
Communication -- no law or business education or experience to contribute.
Yet in two and a half years, he was included in eight deals as an investment
banker at Wasserstein Parella that 'earned' him $16.2 million.
Not surprisingly, this is the man who had his protege, Congresswoman
Melissa Bean, pull any remaining teeth out of the Financial Industry Controls
bill, while the President mouthed platitudes about restraining excess; yes,
the same man who called supporters of single-payer health care -- a position
favored by a substantial majority of citizens -- "fu**ing retards"; yes, this man
is now laden with promises to help ordinary folks. Well you can believe it if
you believe the frog actually turned into a prince. And who knows ... in this
topsy-turvy world, enough money and PR can do anything!