What Emanuel Did on His “Tonight Show” Trip to New York City

Turns out Mayor Rahm Emanuel had quite a busy day in New York City on Tuesday.  

Besides appearing on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon, he met with two organizations that may bring conventions to Chicago, both of which are considered to be major events.  

Emanuel also used his time to meet with the New York chairman of the Federal Reserve and one of the bond houses. His spokesman declined Wednesday to say which one.

Emanuel clearly has pension reform on his mind. Gov. Pat Quinn has until Monday to veto the pension reform bill or its law. He also could make changes to the bill.     

The legislation calls for increases by employee contributions of 29 percent and reduces benefits for the Municipal Employees and Laborers pension funds. 

Without it, Emanuel predicts there will be a downgrade of the city’s fiscal rating. Currently Moody’s Investors Service has Chicago’s bond ratings just three levels above junk status.  

Kelley Quinn, the city’s communications director, said the mayor “met to discuss fiscal policy and the chairman’s take on federal policies that affect municipal governments.”

The timing of the pension reform bill is of course politically sensitive. The governor is up for re-election in November, the mayor next February.

On "The Tonight Show," Emanuel extracted another promise from Fallon, this time with the host promising to bring the show back to the Second City if Chicago kids manage to read 2.4 million books this summer. Fallon hesitantly took the mayor up on that challenge.

The pair also reminisced about the last challenge Emanuel gave Fallon, the Polar Plunge, and ribbed each other for how they handled what Emanuel admitted is "not a rational act."

Contact Us