Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm Not Worried About Lagging Poll Numbers

Mayor says he's focused on making tough decisions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    "I look at a couple of data points I think are really important, of course I worked with President Obama and President Clinton. I saw them at different points in their presidency." (Published Thursday, May 16, 2013)

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel points to his experience with two of his former bosses when it comes to dealing with low poll numbers -- presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

    And according to a recent Tribune/WGN-TV poll, he may want to get on the phone to the Oval Office. The poll results showed a clear majority of voters were not impressed with Emanuel's economic development efforts in the city. He's especially unpopular among black American voters, with 73 percent of respondents saying he hasn't done enough economically.

    Emanuel responded to questions about the poll Thursday by telling a story about visiting a Chicago high school with Google executive Eric Schmidt where the kids are learning computer coding.

    "We used to have, obviously, kids that are dropping out. Kids are also graduating at a record number. That's the numbers I look at," Rahm said.

    The mayor says the issues he's chosen to tackle aren't always popular.

    "I said when I was gonna run, that we were going to do the tough things, tell people the hard truths, and do the tough things that are necessary to build the city," Rahm said. "I know we're willing to make the tough decisions and not allow any narrow interests to decide the future of this city or the future of our children. It's essential to being in public office, and I'm willing to do the things I think is necessary to build that future."