Memo to Ed Kelly: Rahm Emanuel doesn't want your pity.
The embattled Chicago boss -- struggling to regain Chicagoans' approval before February's mayoral election -- defends his hometown cred after the 90-year-old former Park District Superintendent said he feels sorry for Emanuel and called him a "suburbanite" in a Sun-Times interview.
"I appreciate his sentiments of feeling sorry (for me). I don't," responded Emanuel, according to the Sun-Times. "I think public service is an incredible responsibility, and it’s a great job. The city of Chicago, the children here, the teachers here — we have an incredibly bright future if we face up to our challenges and do the right thing."
When asked about Emanuel, Kelly -- a once-notorious political power broker and Daley loyalist -- told the paper: "I feel sorry for Rahm, I really do. Rahm had no idea what he was getting into. Rahm's not a Chicago guy. He'll never be a Chicago guy. He's not a street guy. He's trying to be, but he's not. He's a suburbanite. He's not a Chicagoan, he really isn't. He's smart, very smart. I think what he inherited is going to continue on, he's going to find out more problems, money problems and things."
Dismissing the remark, Emanuel reiterated his Windy City credentials: "My grandfather came to Chicago in 1917 fleeing the pogroms. My uncle was a police officer here in the city of Chicago representing the 17th District. My father had a practice here. I was a congressman from Chicago."