Yesterday’s Washington Times reported the speculation, apparently gathering some steam, that Democrat party insiders are promoting vehemently anti-gun Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the party’s presidential nominee in 2016.
This is not the first time such speculation has been printed as a substitute for news. Lloyd Grove, writing in the Daily Beast almost one month ago reported that Emanuel, who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, “is said by well-connected Democrats to be considering the idea of running for president if Hillary Clinton opts out of the 2016 race.”
The Huffington Post yesterday afternoon, pointing to documents made public from the Clinton Presidential Library, recalled a story in Mother Jones that Emanuel had once remarked about a then-new bullet resistant vest measure, suggesting that the late actor Charlton Heston, who served as National Rifle Association president for an unprecedented five years, could “shove it up his a--.”
The Washington Post last month also reported the speculation, but at the moment, Emanuel’s potential as a White House hopeful appears to be just that: Speculation.
Emanuel likes gun control. That may play well in the Windy City and other liberal enclaves, including Seattle and Portland, but in fly-over America an Emanuel candidacy has all the appeal of a tax audit.
Early last year, after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz went after Emanuel for using “strong arm” tactics in an attempt to pressure banks to cut off lines of credit to firearms manufacturers. At the time, Sen. Cruz had sent letters to officials at Bank of America and TC Bank, and the CEOs of Sturm, Ruger and Smith & Wesson, after the story surfaced.
“We (in Texas) do not accept the notion that government officials should behave like bullies, trying to harass or pressure private companies into enlisting in a political lobbying campaign,” Cruz said in his letter.
At the time, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said Emanuel was “acting like a Chicago gangster instead of a public servant.”
“How dare the mayor engage in this kind of anti-gun lobbying effort,” Gottlieb questioned, “trying to cut off operating capital to a pair of perfectly legal companies that happen to be engaged in perhaps the most heavily-regulated business in the country?”
Last September, American Thinker discussed his plan to create lots of “gun-free” zones in Chicago as a response to the state’s new concealed carry law. Seattle’s former Mayor Mike McGinn tried that to gin up his voting base last year, and last November’s election proved how well that worked out.
Perhaps this is little more than a trial balloon, launched by Democrats to gauge public reaction while providing something to keep pundits occupied; anything to distract public attention from the failures of the current administration and last night’s loss in Florida as Republican David Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink to fill a vacant House seat due to the death of Republican Congressman Bill Young in October.
Democrats may be in trouble heading into the 2014 elections, due primarily to Obamacare and the economy, but gun control efforts have not been forgotten. They will not get out of trouble by floating ideas of an Emanuel candidacy, which only tend to alarm gun owners and spur them to grassroots political action.