Tea Party for Chico, Donald Trump for Emanuel—What’s the Difference?
Rahm Emanuel and his surrogates have been pounding relentlessly on Gery Chico for accepting—sort of—the endorsement last month of the Chicago Tea Patriots, an offshoot of the main Chicago Tea Party group. Chico’s spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson, seemed to initially to welcome the endorsement, and poor Chico has been taking that welcome back ever since.
As the grandson of an immigrant from Mexico, Chico says, he has absolutely nothing in common with Tea Partiers. But Rahm’s campaign has sent robo-calls to Hispanic voters telling them of the endorsement and labeling the Patriots an “anti-immigrant group.” Emanuel has repeatedly mentioned that the Tea Party stands in opposition to everything that President Obama stands for, and that its members would like nothing better than, as Fox News puts it, to “make Obama a one-term president.”
I’ve been wondering why Chico, in turn, has not honed in on the most important form of endorsement in politics: cold cash.
Late last year, before a new campaign finance reform law kicked in, Donald Trump contributed $50,000 to Rahm’s campaign for mayor.
This is the same Donald Trump who appeared in Washington earlier this month before the uber-right group Conservative Political Action Committee because he is flirting with the idea of trying for the 2012 GOP nomination for president. Trump fed these conservative activists all the right lines: the country is in terrible shape; no one in the world respects us (“If I’m elected, America will be respected again,” he promised.) He even presented himself as pro-life and anti-gun control. “I will fight to end ObamaCare,” he added. (After a straw poll at the meeting, CPAC gave its top spot to Ron Paul.)
Just this week, Trump appeared on the local radio show Don Wade and Roma and touted Emanuel again. He told the hosts that Rahm would make a “fantastic” mayor.
It looks like The Donald has not yet become the kind of partisan who can’t say a kind word about the other party.
Still, if Emanuel is hitting Chico hard about the Tea Party endorsement, it’s not too late for Rahm to return Trump’s dough, is it?