Amy Rule choosing different volunteer path than predecessor Maggie Daley
By MICHAEL SNEED firstname.lastname@example.org February 23, 2012 12:00AM
Rahm Emanuel and wife Amy Rule attend a National Hanukkah Memorah lighting ceremony on the White House grounds December 13th, 2009. Photo by Jeff Malet/Maletphoto.com
Updated: March 24, 2012 9:06AM
Amy’s Rule . . .
She took her time. And now it’s time.
† To wit: A lot of people have been wondering what role Chicago first lady Amy Rule will play in her husband’s administration.
† Now we know: Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s highly educated, artistic wife and mother of three has chosen a different volunteer path than her predecessor Maggie Daley.
Contrary to founding charities and devoting her volunteer efforts to specific causes like Mrs. Daley, Rule “is committing herself to volunteering with different non-profit organizations throughout the city at least one or two days a week,” said a Sneed source.
Rule, described as private, unpretentious, humble — and the polar opposite of her husband — kept a low public profile after her husband’s election out of respect for an ailing Maggie Daley, whose tireless efforts promoting After School Matters — a charity she founded — became the subject of a critical report by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.
Ferguson’s review of public-benefit clauses in city tax increment finance district agreements determined that 16 companies were required to give to After School Matters.
Later, Ferguson stated: “Neither Mr. Daley’s wife nor After School Matters were at issue” — after Daley characterized Ferguson’s review as “disgraceful” and a “personal insult” to his wife.
But the damage was done. Mrs. Daley, who was in the late stages of incurable cancer, was heartbroken.
Rule quietly stood beside Maggie at public events honoring the former first lady for her tireless charitable work after her husband’s election because she did not want to deflect the warm accolades and honors Maggie deserved.
Clearly, the Emanuel administration is keeping clear from any appearances of impropriety — especially when it comes to his family.
The day before Valentine’s Day, Rule, who has a master’s degree in medieval art history from the University of Chicago, volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago helping kids with art projects.
She also helped build a playground with Kaboom! and has volunteered with Lakeview Pantry, Greater Chicago Food Depository and the YMCA.
“She has also been reading to kids, painting ... and basically helping these groups with her time and know how,” said Emanuel spokesman Sarah Hamilton.
† Translation: Rule’s work will not become part of a citywide campaign touted by the Emanuel administration, according to Hamilton.
Mister mustache . . .
The Ax Man: President
Barack Obama’s senior campaign strategist, David Axelrod — who just turned 57 — was surprised Wednesday by a birthday video tribute to his infamous mustache “by the kids at Obama headquarters in Chicago,” he e-mailed Sneed.
† The request: So Sneed asked to see a copy of the “crumb catcher” and Manny’s Deli “soup strainer” video — which would probably go viral on YouTube.
† The response: “Never to be released my friend,” chirped campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.
† Unfortunately, mustache montages fall outside Freedom of Information parameters.
† Earlier, Axelrod, an old buddy from my Chicago Tribune days, stated: “Coming and going quietly, Mike. 57? How the heck did that happen? I was 21 when I walked in the door of the Tribune!
“I’ll mark the [birthday] occasion by watching the GOP debate.
“Instead of a birthday bash, I’ll watch those guys bash us, and each other!”
Hack ’em . . .
Cherie Blair, the vocal wife of Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair, just filed a lawsuit against news baron Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World for hacking of her phone.
† The kicker: Her hubby is the godfather of Murdoch’s youngest daughter, Chloe.
† The shocker: Mrs. Blair had originally thought her best friend was leaking stories about her to the press. Turns out she was wrong.