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Carol Felsenthal
On Politics

5 years
ago

Chicago Ideas Week Mayors Panel: Rahm Off His Game, Bloomberg Impressive, Reed One to Watch

After last night’s Mayoral Evening at the Oriental Theatre, part of the first-ever Chicago Ideas Week, I took an instant poll of those sitting near me, asking which of the three mayors in attendance—New York’s Michael Bloomberg, Atlanta’s Kasim Reed, and our own Rahm Emanuel—was most impressive. The folks around me confirmed my opinion: Rahm was…

5 years
ago

The President and His Mother-in-Law: Once a Lovely Notion, Now Material for Opponents’ Jokes

In 2009, Michelle Obama asked her widowed mother to leave her beloved South Shore bungalow to move with them to Washington. Back then, the country, no matter political affiliation, was taken with this family, and there seemed to be a general feeling of good will and admiration for the Obamas as they established an extended family in the private White House quarters. These days, not so much…

5 years
ago

Jean-Claude Brizard on Rahm, CTU President Karen Lewis, and More

Yesterday, I posted part one of my interview with Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. Here, part two of our conversation, in which he talks about his typical day, his relationship with Rahm and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, whether he’ll send his son to public school, and more…

5 years
ago

A Chat with Jean-Claude Brizard, the Personal and Professional

Jean-Claude Brizard, 48, a big man at six feet five—“I’m too fat,” he tells me—was standing outside his office at Clark, just north of Adams, waiting for me as I arrived last Thursday for a sit-down interview. His musical accent reveals his Haiti origins, although he has been in the U.S. since 1976, when he arrived in New York as a 12-year-old. He has been a…

5 years
ago

WVON’s Matt McGill Dishes on his Oval Office Meeting with President Obama

Reading Politico last month, I came upon an item about a WVON host going to D.C. for the dedication of the Martin Luther King National Memorial. While there, he would interview the president in the Oval Office. I called the station and discovered that the lucky radio guy was Matt McGill, the morning drive host for the city’s only black-owned and -operated…

5 years
ago

The Graying of Obama: A Scientific Explanation

The graying of Obama has become a theme of this presidency: to his supporters each patch of gray reflects another piece of the mess that George W. Bush left his successor to clean up; to his detractors the gray reflects the anxious condition of a man in way over his head. I sought the opinion of Dr. Charles Zugerman, associate professor of clinical dermatology at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University…

5 years
ago

Joe Walsh on Abortion, Name-Calling, and His Family Life

Skipping President Obama’s speech last night, Rep. Joe Walsh hosted a small-business forum at Schaumburg’s Prairie Center for the Arts. Yesterday, I posted part one of my Q&A with the 8th District congressman. Here, part two of our conversation, in which he talks about growing up in an Irish Catholic family, why he switched his stance on abortion, who his closest friends are in Congress, and …

5 years
ago

Joe Walsh on Why He’s Skipping Obama’s Jobs Speech Tonight

When President Obama takes the mic tonight for a jobs speech before a joint session of Congress tonight, Congressman Joe Walsh will not be in attendance. Instead, he’ll be flying home to host a “small business job forum” in Schaumburg, part of his suburban Chicago 8th District…

5 years
ago

Obama/Boehner Jobs Speech Mess: The Buck Stops with Bill Daley

When Bill Daley took over Rahm Emanuel’s job as President Obama’s chief of staff, the conventional wisdom had it that, finally, an adult was in the room. It may be too soon to judge Daley’s performance in the job, but he certainly earns a low grade for the dustup over the scheduling of Obama’s upcoming jobs speech…

5 years
ago

Jan Schakowsky: ‘I Grew Up in a Different America’

On Friday, I posted part one of my interview with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, in which she promoted her new jobs bill and slammed the Republicans. Here’s part two, in which she discusses why she broke down during a recent meeting with constituents, how middle-class America is disappearing, and more…

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