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The Week That Was: He Who Spends

By Anthony Burke Boylan in News on Feb 1, 2015 9:30PM

Photo credit: Jason

Memory is a funny thing. Chicago is in the middle of a meta experiment to see exactly how much money it takes to affect it.

It appears $1 million isn’t enough to make 2.7 million people believe the sun rises in the west, or that Nickelback is a good band. Take our mayor. A few months ago he would have ranked just below head cheese but slightly ahead of a blind date with George Zimmerman in a popularity contest.

But if you have, say, $30 million—and a nudge from the Commander in Chief—it appears you can make people think Rahm Emanuel is not an awful mayor.

Run one ad that is completely discredited by the do-gooder groups you claim to have helped. Run another with a woman who was discredited on the Maury Povich show. The content doesn’t seem to matter. Rinse and repeat. Poll numbers rise ... a little.

It appeared to work on at least one of Chicago’s resident suburbanite columnists, Neil Steinberg unsurprisingly supported fellow suburbanite Rahm Emanuel , even aping the campaign’s boilerplate language of being a tough guy who isn’t popular, but gets things done. In other words, he’s a jerk. Kind of telling when that’s your selling point on a candidate.

Delightful to hear how the North Shore might vote. Maybe one day a major daily in Chicago see fit to give a columnist role to someone who lives within the city limits.

Speaking of that presidential endorsement. Barry. Buddy. What have we done to deserve this? Chicago still loves you. We came out for you like crazy in 2012. We’d give you a third term if we could. And we look forward to having your presidential library here—just not on park land.

We know you had to find a gracious way to get Rahm out of your White House. But he’s gone now. Do you have to make sure he gets a second chance to close schools and privatize your adopted city—Michelle’s city? Did you not get his spare key? Are you afraid he’ll sneak back in.

Please reconsider. Change the locks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, find Rahm a nice, cushy role on some boards in the private sector he loves so dearly, and maybe let someone else do the whole mayor thing.

Speaking of famous Chicagoans not from here, we learned this week Jay Cutler handles solo dad duties about as well as a Green Bay pass rush. But let’s cut him some slack. I think he just doesn’t like touching the kid for fear of getting measles or polio.

And on the subject of things we shouldn’t have to worry about any longer, some aging nerds were upset to learn the beloved 1984 classic “Ghostbusters’’ will be remade with women doing the busting this time. There is no need to be upset about the gender makeover. If you need something to be upset about, worry about the fact Hollywood has no new ideas in three decades.

And that was the week that was.