Rahm runs ad featuring Obama praise — rival calls it ‘misleading’
By Fran Spielman City Hall Reporter January 28, 2011 3:24PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel is turning President Obama’s royal send-off into a near-endorsement.
In a new radio ad unveiled Friday, Emanuel uses the lofty praise he got from Obama during the Oct. 1 ceremony that marked Emanuel’s departure as White House chief-of-staff.
“When I first started assembling this administration, I knew we were about to face some of the most difficult years this country has seen in generations. I needed somebody at my side who I could count on to help get the job done,” Obama’s voice is heard as saying.
“There was no candidate for the job of chief of staff who would meet the bill as well as Rahm Emanuel. That’s why I told him that he had no choice in the matter. He was not allowed to say no. This was a great sacrifice for Rahm, Amy and the family to move out here. He has been a great friend of mine. He has been a selfless public servant. He has been an outstanding chief of staff.”
By using the audio from Obama’s remarks, Emanuel gets the benefit of a presidential endorsement without putting Obama on the spot in a way that might alienate black voters.
Mike Noonan, campaign manager for mayoral rival Carol Moseley Braun, says it won’t work.
“President Obama is entitled to his opinion. But, it doesn’t change the reality that Rahm Emanuel is a hypocrite. In his ads, he talks about reform. But, he has used his political relationships for vast financial gains for himself and his clients,” Noonan said.
“The people of Chicago are looking to end those types of back room deals that are costing taxpayers so much.”
Mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle said during his race for city clerk, he used a tape of Obama calling del Valle one of his mentors in the Illinois Senate.
“If I were to put that in an ad and use it in the mayor’s race, that would be wrong. This is the same type of thing,” del Valle said.
“I don’t think it’s right for him to use the president in an ad to mislead people to believe President Obama is making an endorsement. Either you have an endorsement or you don’t. Don’t run an ad with his voice which has the purpose of misleading people.”
Brooke Anderson, a spokesperson for Gery Chico, said, “Somebody should ask the White House if the president is supporting Rahm Emanuel.”
Before dropping out of the mayor’s race and throwing his support to Braun, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) accused former President Bill Clinton of jeopardizing his long-standing relationship with black voters by coming to Chicago to campaign for Emanuel.
Noonan did not criticize Obama for the radio ad that quotes from his glowing White House send-off for Emanuel.
“We love President Obama and hope for the very best for what he’s trying to do in Washington. I don’t think there’s anything the President can do in this race that would change the fact that he’s a beloved figure in Chicago,” Noonan said.