Rahm jokes about reporters, residency — and himself
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter February 23, 2011 3:42PM
Updated: February 23, 2011 10:10PM
Rahm Emanuel’s first full-blown news conference as Chicago’s mayor-in-waiting was a showcase for his sense of humor.
Mayor Daley could be funny at times, too. He loved to laugh at his own jokes. He was at his best when he had an audience of underlings who laughed along with him — often at the expense of the press.
But Emanuel’s humor was less biting and more playful.
He opened the 40-minute news conference — while standing on a riser at the Union League Club — by joking about his height.
“This is the first time I’ve actually seen you from this perspective. ... I’m 5-8, man. I can’t see you like this,” he said.
When a reporter noted that the view was “not any prettier” from above, Emanuel said, “I don’t think I’m any prettier, [either]. And I can say that from this perspective looking out.”
WBBM-TV Channel 2 reporter Jay Levine began the questioning by congratulating the mayor-elect.
“That sounded so heartfelt, Jay. Thank you,” Emanuel said.
Levine replied, “I speak on behalf of the entire room, Mr. Mayor-elect.”
Emanuel countered, “Are you sure? You guys want to have a secret ballot on that?”
The subject turned to Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) and whether Emanuel planned to replace Burke as chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee.
“I’m so proud of you guys. It only took three questions for that” to come up, he said.
Emanuel also joked when Fox Chicago’s Mike Flannery asked about the forensic audit that the mayor-elect talked about ordering during a morning radio interview.
“I’m very proud that you were up early listening to the radio. [But,] you weren’t at the gym working out with me,” Emanuel said.
When asked how it felt to be Chicago’s first Jewish mayor, Emanuel joked about the residency challenge that nearly knocked him off the ballot.
“I got elected as a person from Chicago, a resident. I’m gonna use that word now,” he said.
The mayor-in waiting also teased reporters for asking a series of two-part questions.
“Does it make you feel like you’re back in Washington?” asked WBBM-AM Radio reporter Craig Dellimore.
Emanuel replied, “No. Those are three-part questions.”