Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Leading Off:• Chicago Mayor: Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s supporters acknowledge that at times he can be… a little abrasive. Rahm himself recently ran a spot arguing that while he has his flaws, he uses his stubbornness to fight for Chicago. But there’s a fine line between being an asshole for justice and just a plain old asshole, and he may have crossed it on Wednesday.
The Mental Health Movement writes on their Facebook page that two of its members, Debbie Delgado and Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, criticized Rahm during a meeting for shuttering clinics. They describe a heated conversation, culminating with the mayor yelling “YOU’RE GONNA RESPECT ME!” Rahm’s spokesman acknowledges the meeting took place, but says things “ended very cordially.”
There’s no known recording of the alleged outburst, so we can’t verify what happened one way or another. It’s definitely not a good story for the incumbent though, who is already locked in a runoff with Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. While it won’t surprise any voters to learn that Rahm has a temper, there’s a big difference between him screaming at political operatives or congressional Republicans and him attacking people advocating for more mental health clinics.
Rahm is too well-funded and formidable to ever count out though, and he’s about to turn his Death Star on Garcia. Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reports that the mayor and his allies are about to launch a massive advertising barrage aimed at portraying Garcia as an ineffective longtime politician. The spots will also depict Rahm as someone who has been willing to make tough choices for the greater good. Rahm’s team executed a few late attacks on Garcia before the February primary, but it looks like Chicago viewers can expect wall-to-wall hits from now until April 7.
• CA-Sen: If you’re a political analyst who’s been yearning to toss out some gratuitous “Eye of the Tiger” references ever since Michigan Republican Rocky Raczkowski’s 2010 campaign for Congress ended in failure, then we’ve got your Yo, Adrian right here. GOP Assemblyman Rocky Chávez just announced his formal entry into the race to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, making him just the second candidate (after Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris) to do so. But remember: Even Rocky Balboa lost to Apollo Creed, and Chávez is a much, much bigger underdog than the Italian Stallion.
• FL-Sen: In the event that Marco Rubio decides to run for the White House rather than seek re-election, plenty of his fellow Republicans would have to at least consider making a bid to succeed him (if they aren’t doing so already). But for now, even the biggest names don’t have a lot of recognition. GOP pollster Gravis Marketing tested a three-way matchup and finds state Attorney General Pam Bondi leading with 36, while state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam takes 12 and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater brings up the rear with 9. Unsurprisingly, a 43 percent plurality of voters are undecided.
• MD-Sen, 08: In the wake of Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s announcement that he’ll seek Barbara Mikulski’s now-open Senate seat, his would-be rivals have mostly just re-affirmed that they’re still considering the race. Counting Van Hollen, seven of Maryland’s eight members of Congress are in the mix, including the state’s lone Republican, Andy Harris, who says he’ll make a decision by “early summer.”
Plenty of non-congressional pols are looking, too. The most recent to declare her interest is ex-Del. Heather Mizeur, who “beat the spread” by finishing a respectable third in the Democratic primary for governor last year against much better-funded opponents. But with serious heavyweights already gunning for the Senate, Mizeur might be much better off taking a gander at Van Hollen’s House seat, the solidly blue 8th District in the D.C. ‘burbs. Mizeur lives in the liberal bastion of Takoma Park and would have a natural base from which to launch a campaign, buttressed by the donor network she built in her gubernatorial run.
She’d have company either way, though. Plenty of Democrats will also be keen to fill Van Hollen’s shoes, and one of them, hotel executive Kathleen Matthews, is reportedly preparing a bid. Matthews is the wife of MSNBC gasbag Chris Matthews, but she also has a media profile of her own, as a longtime news anchor for a local ABC affiliate. That sort of background would give Matthews some built-in name recognition, always a valuable commodity in an expensive media market.
• OH-Sen: The Ohio Democratic Party, relying on their old buddies at Public Policy Polling, have put out the first numbers on their state’s Senate race since Ted Strickland announced his entry, and they’re quite positive for the former governor. Strickland ties with GOP Sen. Rob Portman at 45; Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, meanwhile, trails by a considerable 59-31 spread.
We certainly wouldn’t expect the ODP to publish data that didn’t look good for Team Blue, and this release is pretty thin (for instance, they didn’t include favorables for any candidates), so don’t call this race a tossup just yet. But it’s now up to the GOP to show contradictory results, if they’ve got any. It’s also possible that the Democratic establishment is trying to nudge the stubborn Sittenfeld out of the way by showing him what a disadvantage he’d start off at (and by showing him they’re unafraid to demonstrate that publicly), though perhaps some primary head-to-heads would be even more illustrative….