The news today that has all of Washington a-twitter (and, although I have not checked, also likely "a-Twitter") is that the mayor of Chicago has decided he will refrain from running for a seventh (!) term. This opens up the field, and the reason why it may become national news is that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has long expressed a desire to run for this particular office, should the current mayor decide against running again. Which has now happened.
So I'd like to send a plea to Rahm Emanuel: Please, please run for mayor of Chicago, Rahm. Please.
I don't think it'd be an exaggeration to say that many Democrats across this great land (although perhaps not those in Chicago) would support your run for the mayor's office one-hundred-and-ten percent. We'd be behind your run, Rahm. We'd be delighted to see you run for mayor of Chicago. We really, really would.
In fact, I'd like to offer a further piece of advice to further your chances in the big election: change your last name to "Daley." You could now be known as "Rahm Emanuel Daley." History has shown that being named "Daley" is a winning tactic in the Windy City. Either legally change your name, or maybe get one of them to adopt you or something. Out of the past 55 years, there has been a "Mayor Daley" in the Chicago mayor's office for 42 of them. Just trying to be helpful, Rahm, that's all.
Of course, a campaign for such a big-city mayor's job will be all-encompassing, and will take up all of your time, so there's no time like the present to throw your hat in the ring. This would mean that you'd have to step down from your current job of running the Obama White House, and of course everyone will be sad to see you go. But the Obama West Wing is a hardy bunch, and they'll quickly get over it, I'm sure. I'd strongly suggest... oh, how about... "the middle of next week" for you to step down from your current duties. Best it were done soonest, don't you think? It'll be much easier for everyone to recover from your absence if you cut the ties quickly, I think we can all agree on that.
But never fear -- you'll be remembered by the national media long after you exit Washington to fully concentrate on the mayoral race. You'll even still have an official role in the White House -- "Chief Scapegoat." Don't take it the wrong way, but rightly or wrongly you're going to have to be the fall guy who takes the blame for any perceived missteps in the past few years. We're truly sorry about this, we can all assure you. It's just the rough-and-tumble game of politics, right?
Everyone will miss not only your profanity-laden exchanges with power brokers in D.C., but we'll also miss the profanity-laden responses such tirades inspire from others (such as this wonderful recent example from Michael Moore). It'll be a lot duller and quieter around the chief of staff's office, that's for sure, after you leave. But, as I said, we'll just have to get over it, won't we? And we won't even ask you to apologize for any of it, as you leave the White House for good.
In actual fact, you will be doing a great service to both your current boss and the Democratic Party by leaving before the midterms even arrive. By pinning all the blame on you (not in public, of course, but via leaks from anonymous "senior administration sources"), President Obama will be able to pivot in the last, crucial legislative session before the election. Rather than endlessly compromising on legislation and watering things down to the point of ineffectiveness, Obama will have the chance to draw a few lines in the sand and fight in a principled (as opposed to pragmatic) way for what he and the Democratic Party believes in, rather than chasing the myth of bipartisanship. You, on the other hand, will escape Washington ahead of the midterms, instead of afterwards, so you can state that you share no blame for the midterm election results. Win-win for everyone, right?
You may think you'll be leaving mighty big shoes to fill at the White House, Rahm, but rest assured that they'll find someone else to step in for you. Why, there are lots of folks wandering the halls of the West Wing who would likely do a great job at chief of staff. I could name quite a few, myself, but I don't want to be unseemly here by comparing their talents to yours. Besides, there'll be plenty of time for that later, after you're gone.
Rahm, we all know that you've got a tough decision to make, which is why I wrote this, in a helpful and sincere effort to convince you that nothing could be better than deciding immediately that running for mayor of Chicago is the best thing for all concerned. We certainly will be rooting for you out there on the campaign trail. But, of course, you shouldn't take anything for granted (even if you do become Rahm Emanuel Daley), so we urge you to take this race seriously and begin running in the middle of next week. As we stated, there's simply no time to lose.
Democrats will be solidly behind you, as you exit the White House to return to Chicago. We'll line the roads that your limousine passes by on your way to the airport, cheering. Of course, we'll be sad you're leaving town, but we'll do our best to let those feelings be overcome by the absolute joy to be experienced by wishing you well on the campaign trail, and in your future endeavors. And we'll try to let that joy -- and not any shred of disappointment at your exodus -- show through, as we line those streets.
In short, we have a message for you: Please, Rahm, please run. Pretty please?
-- Chris Weigant
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant