Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Hecklers Bash Rahm at U of C Panel

Emanuel showed up a little bit late and was later heckled

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The announcement of a new Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago started off quietly. Until Chicago's mayor arrived.

It started off as a perfectly lovely panel on the state of politics in America. Until Rahm arrived.

The University of Chicago was announcing a new Institute of Politics, headed by David Axelrod.

To make the event special, they invited a few high-profile guests to talk politics on stage -- panel style.

George Stephanopoulos moderated. Rachel Maddow participated. So did David Brooks from the New York Times. They drew warm claps and laughter from the crowd.

Emanuel showed up a little bit late.

When Stephanopoulos asked Emanuel his first question about who is the strongest Republican contender, the crowd erupted with heckles.

A group of disgruntled attendees yelled at Rahm relentlessly for more than a minute. They were shouting at Emanuel about his support for big banks, his support for new ordinances to govern protesters for the G8 summit and his stance on Chicago Teacher's Unions.

"Mic Check ... Rahm Emanuel ..." they chanted as they disrupted the event.

Emanuel for his part handled the heckling well. He appeared to tell assembled security not to remove the hecklers.

"That's alright," he said waving his hand. "Don't do that."

Once the shouting began to die down Emanuel said: "you've had your turn, now give me my turn to answer this question ... about sex."

The rejoinder drew laughter and the hecklers were silenced. 

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