Rahm — to soon star in 'Runaway Brides' of Chicago?

For more than a year, other reporters and I had to be fed a steady diet of Rahmevents, carefully staged and scripted propaganda shows showing off OUR MAYOR in a variety of setting, always controlled. We were fed them at Noble Street Charter School "Pritzker" campus just before Rahm and his family left on vacation before the 2011 holidays; at Groupon before Groupon's business model deflated; at Chase Bank's new branch opening at Montrose and Central; and at St. Sabina's, where for some unexplained reason a Catholic school was the setting for a "Get Back To School" media event prior to the opening of the Track E schools for the 2011 - 2012 school year. There were events at literally more than 300 other locations — all during Chicago's Rookie Mayor's Rookie Year.

If it were a baseball metaphor Rahm was staging.

Rahm Emanuel and Brad Keywell of Groupon on August 3, 2011 announcing Chicago Ideas Week at Groupon's Chicago headquarters. During 2011 and most of 2012, Chicago's Rookie Mayor hosted no fewer than an average of two carefully staged media events per day, all promoting his image. At the event above, Rahm answered a Substance question about science and technology by repeating a scripted thing about how much he was promoting STEM. A few months later, neither Rahm nor anyone from his Board of Education bothered to pay attention to the annual Science Fair sponsored by Chicago's real public schools. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Actually, to listen to Rahm, he won ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, and THE TRIPLE CROWN all before the season began. All he needed was an expanded Mayor's Press Office and an even more expanded "Office of Communications" at CPS to keep the media events and propaganda flowing.

Or maybe Rahm was just working on seducing his love, the corporate media, as he supposedly had learned to do inside the Beltway during his years in Washington, D.C. A sort of bride and bridegroom kind of thing.

Well if that were the rehearsal, Chicago in September 2012 is suddenly facing what may be its most poignant reality show: "Runaway Bride." It may not have the laciviousness of "Real Mafia Wives" or the pureility of Seaside Heights (shout out to my homeboys) from "Jersey Shore." But as a nationally staged event, it's got to draw some reviews. So this is the first.

And while Rahm's myrmidons were hard at work in the lucrative job of burnishing the RAHMIMAGE in Chicago, Rahm was calling in his favors to the national "liberal" and other media at the same time. Jonathan Alter in The Atlantic. The Economist. The New York Times. Just about every major magazine had a RAHMSTORY before Rahm had actually done anything — except perhaps screw up the Police Department so the gangs could run wild and juice up the murder rate. And bad mouth the teachers with all those phony "studies" about the "longer school day".

Suddenly it's September 2012, and Rahm is ducking the TV cameras as fast as he can.

Not a month has gone by, until September 2012, when Chicago's mayor hasn't sent out a "public schedule" inviting the press to cover him in glory (and scripted talking points and canned photo ops).

Today (September 14, 2012) at around ten o'clock the press got this:

FROM: The Mayor's Press Office

MEDIA ADVISORY: Update to Mayor Emanuel’s Public Schedule September 14, 2012

Please be advised the Mayor’s scheduled 11:00 AM event at OEMC Headquarters has been postponed. This event will not take place today.

Earlier, at around eight o'clock, the press was told that Rahm would be at the city's Emergency Management Center (a safe enough place from which to block demonstrators by the way; Homeland Security and all that...).

FROM: The Mayor's Press Office

The Public Schedule for Mayor Rahm Emanuel September 14, 2012

Mayor Emanuel will announce new technology that will lead to greater transparency, accountability, and more efficient city service delivery for residents.

WHEN: 11:00 AM

WHERE: OEMC Headquarters, 1411 W. Madison Street, Chicago, IL *

* There will be a media availability following this event.

It's been like that for a few days.

The mystery grows.

Is Rahm planning to white water raft with his family in South America (as he did following that Noble Street publicity stunt last December)? Or is he planning to go to Nepal and consult a guru or someone like that? Chicago's media hungry mayor, who held more media events in any month than Richard M. Daley held in a year, has suddenly begun ducking the reporters he once courted with the avidity of a guy seeking a prom date.

Or has that pushy foul-mouthed SOB finally showed himself for the bully, liar and coward many of us always knew him to be?


Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

1 + 5 =