Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel on the Hot Seat at Unofficial Debate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rahm Emanuel's three main challengers say they weren't attacking him during a Chicago Tribune forum, they were just asking questions they had not yet been able to.

    A Chicago Tribune editorial board meeting with the top four candidates in the mayor's race Friday took on a feel similar to that of the residency hearings at the board of elections last month.

    Only, this time it wasn't a group of citizen objectors taking aim at Rahm Emanuel, it was his opponents.

    Carol Moseley Braun asked Emanuel about his temperment, referring specifically to an incident when Emanuel allegedly told his staff to remove their tampons, or another time when Emanuel reportedly sent a dead fish to a pollster.

    "No, tampons, let’s talk about tampons," said Braun when it appeared Emanuel was going to change the subject.

    Gery Chico and Miguel Del Valle took shots at the front-running candidate as well, and Emanuel appeared to revel in his time in the hot seat.

    "You have a Rose Garden strategy, while we are out in the neighborhoods," said del Valle, according to the Chicago Tribune.  "I have both feet firmly planted in the neighborhoods of the city of Chicago. I have the experience, the track record and the knowledge. But more importantly, I have the heart."

    When they candidates weren't using the opportunity to try and take Emanuel down a notch, each had a chance to outline specific proposals around their education initiatives, as well as other issues facing the city. 

    They also had a chance to defend themselves against some of the more negative story lines from the campaign.

    Chico addressed the accusation that he and his lawfirm benefitted financially from his close relationship with city departments.

    Braun again defended her initial statements about how she didn't feel like releasing her tax returns.

    And Del Valle talked about the idea that he's far behind.

    But the spotlight no doubt shined on Emanuel the brightest.

    The first televised debate of the mayoral race takes place on January 17 on WTTW as part of the Mikva Challenge. Area students will ask the questions and Carol Marin and Phil Ponce will moderate.