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Countdown to Rahmageddon: Boxing with Burke

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 16, 2011 7:00PM

The Tribune had an interesting article today following up on Rahm Emanuel's tweak at 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke during Monday night's debate on WTTW. The Tribune quotes numerous unnamed aldermen and Emanuel staffers as saying his comments were a warning to Burke that he's willing pick a fight with the second most powerful man at City Hall.

The question the Tribune raises is can Emanuel, if elected, be able to gain the support of enough aldermen to make his own immediate impact on City Council, or will Burke and aldermen who have been crowing about their new-found independence actually flex it in opposition to Emanuel. 49th ward Alderman Joe Moore, the only alderman willing to go on record for the article, reminded readers that "(t)he City Council is the only legislative body in the Western world that acts like the Soviet Politburo. Unless we act like sheep again, it's not really (Emanuel's) prerogative (to change the council)."

Another unnamed north side alderman suggested that, if push comes to shove, it's likely a majority of aldermen will be backing Burke. Political insiders and Emanuel aides have long speculated that Burke was one of the people behind several anti-Rahm efforts, including the residency challenges.

Of course, this is all speculation, and Emanuel and Burke may wind up doing the Art of the Deal to get what they both want. If they both remain obstinate, however, it could be the most exciting time at City Hall since Council Wars nearly 30 years ago.