Should former Democratic Chicago mayor turned TV talking head Rahm Emanuel just drop the punditry nonsense and get into the presidential race himself?

It’s worth a thought. Emanuel is a multimillionaire — there are obvious benefits to public service — though he’s not as rich as enviro-billionaire Tom Steyer, who has qualified for the Democratic presidential candidate debate in October.

But Rahm knows politics, and he displays his knowledge of these dark arts weekly on that ABC Sunday-morning talk show, the one I don’t watch that is hosted by Clinton Donor Zero.

If he were a presidential candidate, Rahm just might be able to save the Democratic Party from Joe Biden.

Admit it, with all his gaffes, old Uncle Joe’s campaign is teetering. Though he’s the last hope of the old Democratic establishment, Biden is just a drop or two of blood in that already bloody eye of his from absolute disaster.

“I want to be clear,” Biden said the other day in addressing his confusion about whether he was in Vermont or New Hampshire, and sniping at pesky reporters insisting on questioning his mental health. “I’m not going nuts.”

OK, Joe. You’re not going nuts. What time do you want your Jell-O?

Think of it: President Rahm Emanuel.

President Rahm as boss of America’s vast intelligence apparatus, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the FBI, and don’t forget the Internal Revenue Service. Democrats wouldn’t mind. And since most journalists are Democrats, we wouldn’t have a “revolution,” or scribes suffering from Emanuel Derangement Syndrome.

Emanuel’s career ended when Chicago realized he’d sat on that police video of black teenager Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by a white Chicago cop.

But think of what he could accomplish with the FBI, CIA and IRS at his beck and call.

Hollywood stars would love him, since his uber agent brother Ari is the boss of Hollywood. And he’d be the first president to hang a portrait of himself as a Hollywood gangster in the White House.

The portrait, which I presented to him, is called “The Rahmfather,” and it shows Rahm in the Al Pacino pose from the movie poster for “The Godfather.” He placed it proudly on the wall of his City Hall office.

Could Rahm Emanuel defeat President Donald Trump?

He’s vicious enough to go for the throat. Or, more likely, he’d have his contacts at the New York Times and the Washington Post go for his enemies’ throats.

Though Rahm has little in common with Trump, they do share a unique superpower:

All they have to do is open their mouths, and leftist political heads explode across America.

Just days before the Democratic presidential debate in Texas, Emanuel went on the attack, trying to draw blood from the Democratic Party’s dominant left wing by targeting a serious vulnerability.

Rahm lashed out at progressive candidates — authentic lefty Bernie Sanders and faux lefty Elizabeth Warren, who is playing the Hillary Clinton role this

cycle — for supporting government health care for everyone, including people in the country illegally, whether they want it or not.

“We’ve taken a position so far, the candidates have ... few have not, about basically ‘Medicare for All,’ which is we’re gonna eliminate 150 million people’s health care and we’re gonna provide health care for people that [have] just come over the border,” Emanuel said on ABC, which pays him for his wisdom.

“That is an untenable position for the general election,” Emanuel said. “This is reckless. You don’t have to take the position to win the primary and you’re basically, literally hindering yourself for the general election.”

The “Medicare for All” plan embraced by the left would, critics say, yank private insurance away from Americans, including union workers who once formed the backbone of the Democratic Party.

Voters may have forgotten that, in a previous debate, Democratic presidential candidates were asked to raise their hands to virtue-signal that they supported health care for immigrants who crossed the borders illegally and that they didn’t think crossing the border illegally was a crime. For this, they were bathed in applause.

Sanders supports full health care for immigrants here illegally because he sincerely believes it to be right. Warren supports it because she’s pandering for Sanders’ progressive votes, while privately assuring Democratic establishment bosses that she’s really one of them.

Biden tentatively raised his hand too. But he raised it as if he were some milquetoast at a wedding banquet, trying to catch the bartender’s eye to order a brandy Alexander, then deciding he might as well pretend to scratch his ear.

Rahm is already on record telling Americans that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. And so is video of idiotic and pandering hand-raising on untenable political positions.

He also knows that Trump’s campaign won’t waste the footage.

An avid bike rider who cuts a striking, lithe figure in bike shorts, Emanuel talked in his Sunday morning segment of his summer spent bicycling around Lake Michigan.

“No one in a diner ran at me and said, ‘Take my health care away.’ Nobody,” Rahm said. “You don’t have to take this position to win the primary, and you’re literally hindering yourself for the general election.”

Get in the race, Rahm. Run for president. Save your party.

But first, would you bring Joe Biden his Jell-O?

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. His Twitter handle is @john_kass.

(22) comments


Rahm might win. He couldn't be any worse than who they have running now. i might vote for him. Maybe he'd be a bit fiscally conservative. No one else is...…..


It doesn't matter who runs on the Democratic ticket. The "worst one" whoever that is at any moment is 100,000,000 times better than the unstable liar-genius of a dotard we have now, and all of its Republican boot lickers on Capitol Hill put together. So gaffe away, Democrats. No gaffe can equal the tower of lies spewed from the mouth of the rat in the Oval Office. Propose free college through PhD degrees for everyone. (The Huffman crowd might object.) Promise infinite student debt relief. Propose unlimited free lollipops for every child. Propose any and all health care for free. Promise suffrage for illegal aliens (they work harder than deplorables anyway.) Propose jail for business owners that hire illegals. Propose a tax on every carbon atom in the universe. I would vote for that agenda because nothing matters more now than flushing Republicans down the tube and washing them out to sea. I would vote for Osama bin Laden before I would vote for the Orange Oval Office Orangutan. At least OBL proved he could plan a strategy well in advance, stay focused on the goal, execute with precision and without revealing his plans to his antagonists, and ultimately achieve a bullseye. Why, all the statues of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart and Jeff Davis should be replaced with statues of OBL If we're going to honor enemies of the union we should at least pick the successful ones. Those Rebels may have killed more loyal Americans than any terrorist group today, but they failed their mission. Why do we choose to honor failures?


I'm for a Warren/Bernie ticket (Bernie as VP to pull his base in+he's old). Biden is....1 ripped pocket short of spilling his Alzheimer's medicine on the floor. Centrist Dems like Biden because he's experienced and consistently well, centrist...But also because his persona doesnt directly project "slimeball". Rahm is %100 slimeball and is as close as the Dems can get to finding a Trump equivalent. If the objective is to win the primaries by hook or by crook, good luck, but the main election you cant count on a large voting percentage to sit it out. He reeks.


"spilling his Alzheimer's medicine..." If you are not in some medical trial population there are no medications for this disorder. None that I know bout. This bit is just propaganda that many repeat. Anyone under this much of a focus will make mistakes. Just human nature.


Obviously it's a joke, although if anyone would be first in line for a trial, it'd be Mr Middle Class. Here's the bigger issue: When Trump debates someone better than him at debating (Hillary) the debate doesn't matter HOWEVER, when that's not the case it's just material for campaign ads, of which there will be ample. The DCCC would be wise to ease up on pushing Biden so hard, he's got a lot of political baggage and without a large Obama endorsement (crickets so far) it's going to fizzle.


Aricept and Nameda are used to slow down the progression Gary. They don't cure you.


DickD - Thanks. Not my area of study.


“Rahm is %100 slimeball and is as close as the Dems can get to finding a Trump equivalent.”

I’ve heard he is more obscene that Donald JOHN Trump. Drops f-bombs every sentence or two. The adorables would likely love him.


As I see it, there is no relevant difference between the Democrats' health plans. Even if Bernie or Liz win, they won't be able to pass a single payer system. Therefore the plans that less progressive Democrats (like Joe's) is what they will try to pass. Even Bernie, who helped pass ACA, would compromise in the end.




Luckily we won't have to worry about it. Barring something really remarkable (never out of the question with Trump of course) Trump will win re-election.


Not sure why the FNP thought this column was relevant outside of Chicago.


What a load of carp. Smells fishy to me. Biden is OK.


Are you watching the same Joe Biden I'm watching? The guy I'm watching has no command of the critical issues facing the country and can't articulate with any thoroughness or cogency what his plans are for addressing those issues. Whenever he attempts to use history for purposes of analogy, the result is painfully humorous to the point of absurdity. The man cries out for his family, Barack, somebody -- Anybody -- to conduct an intervention on this poor man's candidacy before he burns through what dignity and legacy he has left.


You support Trump and complain about Biden?


As usual, you completely miss the point.


I have watched Biden for well over 40 yeas. Minor stumbles do not change my opinion.


Obama already (and strenuously) argued against him running. Barry thought Biden would destroy his "legacy." Whatever that is...……..


Go Ahead Rahm get in save the USA like you saved Chicago. NOT!!!!!!!! What a joke this editorial is. Hahahahaha!!!!


We don't need Medicare for all and it will hurt any candidate that supports it.


The "Never let a good crisis go to waste guy." hahahahaha



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