Friday, October 01, 2010

Ah, The Politics Of Running For Mayor Of Chicago

In Chicago, everyone wants to be mayor. Who would have thought someone would quit the prestigious job as the top White House official to the President of the United States to return home to run for mayor? That's exactly what Rahm Emanuel is doing today. And who would have thought that the most anti-gay black minister in the Windy City (also a candidate for mayor) would, ahem, request a meeting with the leader of a gay rights organization. That happened too. The Sun-Times' Michael Sneed explains the Rev. James Meeks unlikely meeting with the head of Illinois Equality:

The Rev. James Meeks must be very serious about running for mayor.

To wit: Sneed is told Meeks, a state senator who is very unpopular in the gay community for his track record on gay issues, requested a hush-hush meeting with Rick Garcia, a top Illinois gay rights activist, days after Mayor Daley decided not to run again.

"Rev. Meeks, who would never return Rick's calls in the past, is now treating Rick like his best friend," said a source familiar with the meeting.

The upshot: "It's true we met, and Rev. Meeks has a completely anti-gay voting record and said horrible things about the gay community," Garcia, a founder of Equality Illinois, told Sneed. "But my job is to build bridges, so we met at his Salem Baptist Church."

The final shot: "He [Meeks] told me he knows its going to be a hard sell and a hard stretch to endorse him, but he wanted to make sure he didn't say things wrong. It was mainly an educational meeting," said Garcia, "but it lasted two hours."

The kicker: "The only mayoral hopeful who hasn't called me is ... Rahm Emanuel," Garcia said.
Yep, hell has frozen over. Chicago politics. You've gotta love it.

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