Rahm Emanuel meets fake Twitter Rahm, says phony right on target
By ABDON M. PALLASCH Political Reportarapallasch@suntimes.com March 2, 2011 9:18PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel admitted Wednesday that there were times, after a long day on the campaign trail, that he would read the profane diatribes of his alter-ego on @MayorEmanuel.com and think to himself, “My sentiments exactly!”
Emanuel made good on a promise Wednesday, handing a check for $5,000 over to Columbia College Assistant Professor Dan Sinker — a donation to an after-school program. It was a reward for Sinker unmasking himself as the author of the MayorEmanuel Twitter feed, which quoted a version of Emanuel cussing all over the campaign trail while the real Emanuel kept his tart tongue in check.
As a top aide to former President Clinton and then an ex-congressman working to elect Democrats around the country, Emanuel earned a reputation for using the F-word, especially in plotting to topple political opponents.
Emanuel admitted Wednesday that he buried his “Old Voice” last year to campaign for mayor of Chicago in his “New Voice.”
But he joked Wednesday as he met Sinker on Roe Conn and Richard Roeper’s WLS Radio talk show, “Here’s my problem, now that he ends this, the ‘Calm Rahm’ may have to go away. I had this as my outlet.”
Joking aside, Emanuel said he had great respect for the Young Chicago Authors program Sinker chose as the recipient of the $5,000 from Emanuel and his wife’s trust fund.
The program sponsors the “Louder than a bomb” poetry contest, a Saturday writing program that includes classes on creative writing and a magazine for student writing called, “Say What?”
Emanuel said he had no idea what to expect when he met the 36-year-old bearded college professor he jokingly called his “impersonator” because his tweets were so dead-on Emanuel’s “Old Voice” persona that some friends thought Emanuel was sending them out himself.
“A number of people e-mailed or called and said, ‘You’ve gotta be — What are you doing?’ and I said, ‘What do you mean what are you doing?’ It was friends who had actually heard me a few times [and took it] seriously or thought it was close enough to my old voice, not my new voice,” Emanuel said. “I made a commitment [to donate] because many times he has expressed my sentiments exactly.”
Causes.com matched the $5,000 and Conn and Roeper each kicked in $1,000.
Emanuel, who made his name in politics as a relentless fund-raiser, told Conn, “Dan and I went through your contract and we think you can afford more than a grand.”
Sinker was visibly nervous appearing with Emanuel, who told him, “Relax, man.”
“I am so not relaxed,” Sinker said.
“Dude, you have tenure,” Emanuel quipped. “Don’t worry about it — I already called on it. You can do whatever you want now.”
Sinker said after the show he was surprised how funny the real Emanuel was.
Sinker also said he would be even more interested in meeting David Axelrod,
the presidential advisor and close friend of Emanuel who inspired the “Quackselrod” the duck character in the Twitter Feed.
“David Axelrod was my favorite character,” Sinker said.
“Really?” Emanuel asked him
“Yes. Absolutely,” Sinker said.
“I’m hurt,” Emanuel dead-panned.
Told of the exchange, Axelrod texted, “For once the sidekick gets his due.”