Rich Miller and Carol Felsenthal are all over the close ties between Rahm Emanuel and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Turns out, besides being political acquaintances, they’re vacation buddies, too.
It’s not like Democrat Rahm hasn't been accused of close ties with Republicans before. In fact, there’s no shortange of people who are ready and willing to essentially claim Emanuel is merely a Democrat in wolf’s clothing.
From word Chicago mayor wanted Rauner and not Democrat Bill Daley as governor to friendly chats with Republican ideologues in issues like immigration, Rahm’s been known to pat a Republican back or two. And he’s certainly no stranger to wealthy and corporate donors, the kinds of folks traditionally seen as friends of Republicans, and vice versa.
To some, he’s already implementing a Republican-lite agenda in Chicago, from TIF handouts for corporations to tax breaks for billionaires, a fondness for charter schools and attacks on public sector unions.
Which gets me to wondering: Why doesn’t the Republican Party in Illinois make a run at trying to get Mayor Emmanuel to switch sides?
Think about it. Getting Rahm Emanuel to become a Republican could automatically revive the moribund Republican presence in Chicago, give a boost to the chances of the state party winning the 2014 governor’s race, and maybe even open room for a candidate or two to run against him in the 2015 mayor’s race from the left.
And it would certainly calm the concerns of those who are worried about there bing a little too much closeness between the Republican candidate and the mayor.
So, what do you say, state Republicans? Got anything good to offer your new best friend?