Politics

Candidates weigh in on Clinton support for Emanuel

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chicago mayoral candidates are reacting to the news that former President Bill Clinton plans to campaign for hopeful Rahm Emanuel.

Candidate Danny Davis wants Clinton to stay out of the race for mayor. Other candidates are using the opportunity to call Emanuel an outsider.

Clinton's trip to Chicago to stump for Emanuel generated a second day of talk on radio Wednesday. Several of Cliff Kelly's listeners on WVON agree with Davis's call to keep Clinton out of local politics. And on Wednesday the contest's other African-American candidate, Carol Moseley Braun, chimed in.

"If he's going to bring in Former President Clinton, he might want to consider bringing in Representative Bart Stupak who helped him kill choice for women in the new health care bill. He might want to consider bringing Leland Brendsel and all those people from of Freddie Mac who helped him precipitate the mortgage crisis that we're looking at," she said.

Moseley Braun, who was appointed by Clinton as an ambassador, says a Clinton visit is another example of an outsider helping an outsider. Painting Emanuel as someone not from Chicago is a popular theme among his opponents.

Rahm Emanuel was all about Washington," said mayoral candidate Gery Chico.

"I think Chicagoans are going to select the next mayor not based on endorsements from out of state," said mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle.

Stumping for Rahm is nothing new for the former president. Clinton helped his former White House aide back in 2002 when Emanuel ran for Congress. But will Clinton's help make a difference in the mayor's race?

"It reminds everybody that Rahm indeed worked for the Clinton White House as he did for the Obama White House. But it's not like it's an endorsement from a Daley," said Dick Simpson, professor of political science, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Davis has been the most outspoken about the Clinton visit. The West Side congressman denies playing the race card when he says an Emanuel endorsement would damage the former president's long relationship with the African-American community.

"I would hope that he would not come to Chicago unless he is coming to support me," Davis said.

Davis says he would be against a Clinton visit if it was for Carol Moseley Braun or another African-American candidate.

The Emanuel campaign will not comment on the Clinton visit. However, it did release a written statement responding to Moseley Braun's comments. It reads in part, "these comments are inaccurate, divisive, and fail to demonstrate the kind of leadership Chicago needs from its next mayor."

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