Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: Bill Clinton Lands in Chicago for Splashy Emanuel Fundraiser

The embattled Chicago mayor is piggybacking on his ex boss' popularity

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Democratic faithful pack a River North nightclub/restaurant for a chance to hang out with former president Bill Clinton. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Friday, Jun 20, 2014)

    Who wants to party with Bill Clinton?

    You and everyone else ... but none more so than Rahm Emanuel.

    Former President Bill Clinton Tours Englewood School

    [CHI] Former President Bill Clinton Tours Englewood School
    An Englewood childhood education center receives some high praise for being the first of its kind in the community from former president Bill Clinton. NBC 5's Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Friday, Jun 20, 2014)

    The re-election-seeking Chicago mayor -- struggling to recover from an excruciating round of bad press -- is hitting the town with his (way more popular) old boss on Friday night to raise money for Emanuel's campaign. The fundraiser is being thrown at the splashy Paris Club in River North, and if you want to experience "An Evening With President Clinton and Mayor Emanuel" (featuring a performance by The Head and the Heart), you'll have to fork over $250 just to get in the door.

    Bigger-pocketed donors had the option of buying a "seat" for $1,000 or dropping up to $25,000 for the fancy title of "event" chair and a greater chance of rubbing elbows with two Democratic heavies.

    Bill Clinton Visits Englewood Childhood Education Center

    [CHI] Bill Clinton Visits Englewood Childhood Education Center
    Former president touts the work of the Metropolitan Family Services Learning and Wellness Center. (Published Friday, Jun 20, 2014)

    Earlier in the day, Clinton and Emanuel reportedly planned to tour an early childhood learning center in the South Side's Englewood neighborhood. News of the trip to facility miraculously found its way into one of the city's two major newspapers -- imagine that! (Nice stealth story-planting, City Hall.)

    "They are also going to meet with little tykes and staff at the facility," quoth a Sun-Times source. "The former president loves that sort of thing."

    (Lo and behold, news also broke Friday that former Chicago Public Schools communications chief Becky Carroll was heading up a pro-Emanuel super PAC. Bill can't finance Team Rahm all on his own, guys.)

    The Clintons are big proponents of investment in early childhood education and universal pre-K -- an issue into which Emanuel has poured $36 million over his three years as mayor.

    Last week, Emanuel interviewed Hillary Clinton for a Chicago event to promote her new memoir "Hard Choices" and, naturally, himself. It was a lovefest! Asked for her views on education reform, the prospective future president lauded her husband's former senior advisor for his controversial decision to lengthen the public school day.

    "Well, first let me congratulate you and Chicago for getting a full day for kindergarten," she told the crowd of hundreds at the Harris Theater, adding that the victory "should be trumpeted from the top of the Sears Tower."

    Cue rampant applause.

    In the world of the Clintonites, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" is the method of operation.