Bill Clinton Speech September 5th 2012 - History

Bill Clinton Speech September 5th 2012 - History

We're here to nominate a President, and I've got one in mind. I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. A man who ran for President to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before the election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression. A man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs were created and saved, there were still millions more waiting, trying to feed their children and keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside. A man who believes we can build a new American Dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, education and cooperation. A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.

I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party.

In Tampa, we heard a lot of talk about how the President and the Democrats don't believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everyone to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

The Republican narrative is that all of us who amount to anything are completely self-made. One of our greatest Democratic Chairmen, Bob Strauss, used to say that every politician wants you to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself, but it ain't so.

We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think "we're all in this together" is a better philosophy than "you're on your own."

Who's right? Well since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. What's the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!

It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.

Though I often disagree with Republicans, I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obama and the Democrats. After all, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High and built the interstate highway system. And as governor, I worked with President Reagan on welfare reform and with President George H. W. Bush on national education goals. I am grateful to President George W. Bush for PEPFAR, which is saving the lives of millions of people in poor countries and to both Presidents Bush for the work we've done together after the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.

Through my foundation, in America and around the world, I work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are focused on solving problems and seizing opportunities, not fighting each other.

When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better. After all, nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes. Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness.

One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation. He appointed Republican Secretaries of Defense, the Army and Transportation. He appointed a Vice President who ran against him in 2008, and trusted him to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act. And Joe Biden did a great job with both. He appointed Cabinet members who supported Hillary in the primaries. Heck, he even appointed Hillary! I'm so proud of her and grateful to our entire national security team for all they've done to make us safer and stronger and to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I'm also grateful to the young men and women who serve our country in the military and to Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for supporting military families when their loved ones are overseas and for helping our veterans, when they come home bearing the wounds of war, or needing help with education, housing, and jobs.

President Obama's record on national security is a tribute to his strength, and judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship.

He also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on Health Care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn't work out so well. Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work.

Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we're going to keep President Obama on the job!

In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President's re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.

In order to look like an acceptable alternative to President Obama, they couldn't say much about the ideas they have offered over the last two years. You see they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place: to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did; to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts; to increase defense spending two trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they'll spend the money on; to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor kids. As another President once said – there they go again.

I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.

Are we where we want to be? No. Is the President satisfied? No. Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month. The answer is YES.

I understand the challenge we face. I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy. Though employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even housing prices are picking up a bit, too many people don't feel it.

I experienced the same thing in 1994 and early 1995. Our policies were working and the economy was growing but most people didn't feel it yet. By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history.

President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving and if you'll renew the President's contract you will feel it.

I believe that with all my heart.

President Obama's approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America must take to build a 21st century version of the American Dream in a nation of shared opportunities, shared prosperity and shared responsibilities.

So back to the story. In 2010, as the President's recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around.

The Recovery Act saved and created millions of jobs and cut taxes for 95% of the American people. In the last 29 months the economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs. But last year, the Republicans blocked the President's jobs plan costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So here's another jobs score: President Obama plus 4.5 million, Congressional Republicans zero.

Over that same period, more than more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama – the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s.

The auto industry restructuring worked. It saved more than a million jobs, not just at GM, Chrysler and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country. That's why even auto-makers that weren't part of the deal supported it. They needed to save the suppliers too. Like I said, we're all in this together.

Now there are 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than the day the companies were restructured. Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So here's another jobs score: Obama two hundred and fifty thousand, Romney, zero.

The agreement the administration made with management, labor and environmental groups to double car mileage over the next few years is another good deal: it will cut your gas bill in half, make us more energy independent, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and add another 500,000 good jobs.

President Obama's "all of the above" energy plan is helping too – the boom in oil and gas production combined with greater energy efficiency has driven oil imports to a near 20 year low and natural gas production to an all time high. Renewable energy production has also doubled.

We do need more new jobs, lots of them, but there are already more than three million jobs open and unfilled in America today, mostly because the applicants don't have the required skills. We have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are being created in a world fueled by new technology. That's why investments in our people are more important than ever. The President has supported community colleges and employers in working together to train people for open jobs in their communities. And, after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased the drop-out rate so much that we've fallen to 16th in the world in the percentage of our young adults with college degrees, his student loan reform lowers the cost of federal student loans and even more important, gives students the right to repay the loans as a fixed percentage of their incomes for up to 20 years. That means no one will have to drop-out of college for fear they can't repay their debt, and no one will have to turn down a job, as a teacher, a police officer or a small town doctor because it doesn't pay enough to make the debt payments. This will change the future for young Americans.

I know we're better off because President Obama made these decisions.

That brings me to health care.

The Republicans call it Obamacare and say it's a government takeover of health care that they'll repeal. Are they right? Let's look at what's happened so far. Individuals and businesses have secured more than a billion dollars in refunds from their insurance premiums because the new law requires 80% to 85% of your premiums to be spent on health care, not profits or promotion. Other insurance companies have lowered their rates to meet the requirement. More than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents can now carry them on family policies. Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care including breast cancer screenings and tests for heart problems. Soon the insurance companies, not the government, will have millions of new customers many of them middle class people with pre-existing conditions. And for the last two years, health care spending has grown under 4%, for the first time in 50 years.

So are we all better off because President Obama fought for it and passed it? You bet we are.

There were two other attacks on the President in Tampa that deserve an answer. Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the President for allegedly robbing Medicare of 716 billion dollars. Here's what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None. What the President did was save money by cutting unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that weren't making people any healthier. He used the saving to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program, and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. It's now solvent until 2024. So President Obama and the Democrats didn't weaken Medicare, they strengthened it.

When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama's "biggest coldest power play" in raiding Medicare, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. You see, that 716 billion dollars is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget.

At least on this one, Governor Romney's been consistent. He wants to repeal the savings and give the money back to the insurance companies, re-open the donut hole and force seniors to pay more for drugs, and reduce the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years. So now if he's elected and does what he promised Medicare will go broke by 2016. If that happens, you won't have to wait until their voucher program to begins in 2023 to see the end Medicare as we know it.

But it gets worse. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming decade. Of course, that will hurt poor kids, but that's not all. Almost two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for seniors and on people with disabilities, including kids from middle class families, with special needs like, Downs syndrome or Autism. I don't know how those families are going to deal with it. We can't let it happen

Now let's look at the Republican charge that President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements in the welfare reform bill I signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work.

Here's what happened. When some Republican governors asked to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama Administration said they would only do it if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20%. You hear that? More work. So the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform's work requirement is just not true. But they keep running ads on it. As their campaign pollster said "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself – I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.

Let's talk about the debt. We have to deal with it or it will deal with us. President Obama has offered a plan with 4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade, with two and a half dollars of spending reductions for every one dollar of revenue increases, and tight controls on future spending. It's the kind of balanced approach proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.

I think the President's plan is better than the Romney plan, because the Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility: The numbers don't add up.

It's supposed to be a debt reduction plan but it begins with five trillion dollars in tax cuts over a ten-year period. That makes the debt hole bigger before they even start to dig out. They say they'll make it up by eliminating loopholes in the tax code. When you ask "which loopholes and how much?," they say "See me after the election on that."

People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets. What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic. If they stay with a 5 trillion dollar tax cut in a debt reduction plan – the – arithmetic tells us that one of three things will happen: 1) they'll have to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving that middle class families will see their tax bill go up two thousand dollars year while people making over 3 million dollars a year get will still get a 250,000 dollar tax cut; or 2) they'll have to cut so much spending that they'll obliterate the budget for our national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel; or they'll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education and other programs that help middle class families and poor children, not to mention cutting investments in roads, bridges, science, technology and medical research; or 3) they'll do what they've been doing for thirty plus years now – cut taxes more than they cut spending, explode the debt, and weaken the economy. Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down.

President Obama's plan cuts the debt, honors our values, and brightens the future for our children, our families and our nation.

My fellow Americans, you have to decide what kind of country you want to live in. If you want a you're on your own, winner take all society you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a "we're all in it together" society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If you want every American to vote and you think its wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama. If you think the President was right to open the doors of American opportunity to young immigrants brought here as children who want to go to college or serve in the military, you should vote for Barack Obama. If you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American Dream is alive and well, and where the United States remains the leading force for peace and prosperity in a highly competitive world, you should vote for Barack Obama.

I love our country – and I know we're coming back. For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we've always come out stronger than we went in. And we will again as long as we do it together. We champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor – to form a more perfect union.

If that's what you believe, if that's what you want, we have to re-elect President Barack Obama.

God Bless You – God Bless America.

The Medal of Honor: 6 Surprising Facts

1. At first, the idea of a Medal of Honor was dismissed as too 𠇎uropean.”
During the American Revolution, George Washington established the first combat decoration in U.S. history, known as the Badge of Military Merit. After the conflict it fell into disuse, as did its successor, the Certificate of Merit, bestowed during the Mexican-American War. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, proponents of a new award made their case to Winfield Scott, general-in-chief of the Union Army. Scott, a respected commander despite being too feeble and corpulent to mount a horse in the waning years of his career, scoffed at the suggestion, saying it smacked of European tradition. It was only after his retirement that Medal of Honor supporters in Congress could introduce bills providing for the decoration.

2. Only one woman has received the Medal of Honor, and her award was temporarily rescinded.
A medical doctor who supported feminist and abolitionist causes, Mary Edwards Walker volunteered with the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War. Despite her training, she initially had to work as a nurse before becoming the Army’s first female surgeon. Known to cross enemy lines in order to treat civilians, she may have been serving as a spy when Confederate troops captured her in the summer of 1864. Walker was later released as part of a prisoner exchange and returned to duty. On November 11, 1865, President Andrew Johnson presented her with the Medal of Honor, making her the only woman to date to receive the decoration. In 1917 the Army changed its eligibility criteria for the honor and revoked the awards of 911 non-combatants, including Walker. Nevertheless, she continued to wear her medal until her death two years later. An Army board restored Walker’s Medal of Honor in 1977, praising her 𠇍istinguished gallantry, self-sacrifice, patriotism, dedication and unflinching loyalty to her country, despite the apparent discrimination because of her sex.”

Ten ways Americans have lost their freedom

By Richard (R.J.) Eskow
Published August 31, 2012 1:32PM (EDT)


This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Our most fundamental rights, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are under assault. But the adversary is Big Wealth, not Big Government as conservatives like to claim. Consider:

Life? The differences in life expectancy between wealthier and lower-income Americans are increasing, not decreasing.

Liberty? Digital corporations are assaulting our privacy, while banks trap us in indebtedness that approaches indentured servitude. The shrunken ranks of working Americans are being robbed of their essential liberties – including the right to use the bathroom.

The pursuit of happiness? Social mobility in the United States is dead. Career choices are increasingly limited. As for working hard and earning more, consider this: Between 1969 and 2008 the average US income went up by $11,684. How much of that went to the top 10? All of it. Income for the remaining 90 percent actually went down.

These changes didn't just happen. Wealthy individuals and corporations made it happen – and they're still at it. Meanwhile, Corporate America's wholesale theft of your individual liberties has been rebranded as a fight for … the corporation's individual liberty.

Corey Robin notes in the Nation that this conservative appeal to “economic freedom” has been met by Democrats who present themselves as “new Victorians,” standing for “responsibilities over rights, safety over freedom, constraint rather than counterculture.”

Not only is this politically and emotionally unappealing, it's demonstrably wrong. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary's definition of a “right” is “something to which one has a just claim: as the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled.” Definitions of “liberty” include “the power to do as one pleases,” “freedom from arbitrary or despotic control,” “the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges,” and “the power of choice.”

Is that how you feel when you're dealing with your bank?

While the Right portrays popularly elected government as a faceless oppressor, large corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals – what we're calling “Big Wealth” -- are trampling on our individual rights and liberties every day. We should be fighting for “economic freedom,” as Corey Robin notes, and explaining how Big Wealth is crushing other fundamental liberties as well.

Here are 10 critical examples, drawn from the headlines and from our everyday lives.

1. Our American liberties end at the workplace door.

If you have a job, the Freedom Train stops at the workplace door. More employees are hired on a part-time or temporary basis to deny them rights and benefits. Many of your privacy rights are gone. Your employer can use your company computer to read your correspondence, and your company cell phone (if you have one) to track your movements.

Free speech? You can be fired for expressing political views online, even when you're not at work. As employment lawyer Mark Trapp told Bloomberg Business Week, the“freedom to speak your mind doesn’t really exist in work spaces.” Or, in some cases, outside it.

The longstanding right of workers to organize and form a union is also under assault. A corporate-funded group called ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is coordinating the loss of union rights for public employees. Governors and legislators are using budget shortfalls created by corporate misbehavior and tax cuts for the wealthy to argue that governments can no longer afford to honor union contracts.

Your rights don't even begin where your, er, bathroom breaks begin. As Mary Williams Walsh reported in the New York Times, “employees at lower rungs of the economic ladder can be timed with stopwatches in the bathroom stonewalled when they ask to go given disciplinary points for frequent urination even hunted down by supervisors with walkie-talkies if they tarry in the stalls.”

2. We're losing our “right to life” in many different ways -- from birth through old age.

It's always striking when some of those who defend an unborn child's “right to life” ignore the fact that the United States ranks 49th in infant mortality, according to the latest statistics. Or in the fact that African American infant mortality is 2.5 that of Caucasians. Or that lower-income families of all ethnicities suffer much greater infant mortality in this country than their wealthier counterparts.

The next time you see another story about impoverished North Koreans and their seemingly mad dedication to their deluded leader and outmoded economic system, consider this: The average life expectancy for an African American in New Orleans is roughly the same as that of a North Korean. It's shorter than that of people in Colombia, Venezuela, of Vietnam. In our nation's capital, the life expectancy gap between African American and white males is more than 13 years.

For poor whites the story isn't much better. A 2005 study showed that life expectancy for poor white males in Appalachia and the Mississippi Valley is roughly the same as that of males in Mexico and Panama. They can expect to live nearly four and a half years less than average white male nationwide. Opportunities for an affordable education are disappearing -- and education correlates closely with longevity.

Then there's Medicare. Studies showed that mortality among Americans aged 65 and older decreased by 13 percent after Medicare was created, and they spent 13 percent fewer days in the hospital. The corporate-funded right is sponsoring a plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system that will provide less coverage for older Americans' healthcare with each passing year. They also want to raise its eligibility age. The studies show that these proposals would result in increased loss of life and more hospital days for older Americans.

3. We've lost autonomy over our own bodies.

While Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin prattle about “death panels,” many injured or ailing Americans enter a Kafka-esque maze of insurance executives, case managers, billing services, and customer service numbers with interminable hold times. Some of these processes were created as a legitimate response to physician overtreatment, itself encouraged by our privatized education and health financing systems. But they've turned into massive operations for delaying, frustrating, and thwarting attempts by patients and doctors to receive permission to provide necessary services.

Millions of Americans have to plead for needed treatment, then argue over a complex and error-prone system of copayments, deductibles, and medical bills denied for payment with incomprehensible explanations. If they're unable to devote hours to battling their insurer, or if they try and fail, they may then find themselves at the mercy of medical debt collectors whose own actions have been the subject of legal scrutiny and public criticism.

Long-standing assumptions built into our medical system deny virtually all Americans the right to affordable dental care, which is available in most other developed countries, while an antiquated and Puritanical attitude toward mental illness has been exploited to deny them adequate care for these conditions.

The right is attacking Medicare, one of our most popular government programs, and defending one of our nation's least popular institutions, HMOs. In fighting for Medicare Advantage's HMO subsidies and resisting wider access to public health insurance, they're using the language of freedom to rob Americans of the freedom to make their own medical decisions.

There are treatments which have unproven value, have unpleasant side effects, or which studies have shown to be over-used to provide financial gain to medical providers. People have a right to know that, and to be protected from this kind of abuse. But the denial of covered services is an epidemic in American healthcare – and a massive assault on American freedom.

4. We're losing the ability to rise up from poverty, earn a decent living, or work in the career of our choice.

The periodic economic shocks caused by our banking system allowed employers to demand wage concessions while paying ever-increasing salaries and bonuses to their senior executives. The power of unions has been systematically eroded. The drive to provide ever-increasing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans has led to a decline government jobs, which has shriveled job opportunities in many lines of work.

The key to social mobility is education, and that doorway to opportunity has been steadily closing. A study from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education showed that, as the University of Virginia's Miller Center puts it, “Since the mid-1980s the costs of higher education in America have steadily shifted from the taxpayer to the student and family.”

The study shows that during a period when median family income rose by 147%, college tuition and fees rose 439%. That's a tripling of education costs, in real dollar terms. The impact has been greatest on lower-income families. As the New York Times notes: “Among the poorest families — those with incomes in the lowest 20 percent — the net cost of a year at a public university was 55 percent of median income, up from 39 percent in 1999-2000. At community colleges, long seen as a safety net, that cost was 49 percent of the poorest families’ median income last year, up from 40 percent in 1999-2000.”

Some career options aren't even available anymore. Want to be a writer or reporter? Nearly 4,000 jobs in this area will disappear in this decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A teacher? They're cutting those jobs back to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. Post Office employee? Ditto. The death of American manufacturing means that lower-income young people can't move into the middle class. Working-class kids can't even follow in their parents' blue-collar footsteps. They're falling behind their parents.

Those who have jobs find it increasingly impossible to lead a decent life. The US has a much higher percentage of low-income workers than most other developed countries. The New America Foundation observed that the share of middle-income jobs in this country has fallen from 52 percent to 42 percent since 1980, while the share of low-income jobs rose from 30 percent t0 41 percent. The fundamental rights we were told we had as Americans – to choose our careers, find a job, and live a decent life if we worked hard – are disappearing rapidly.

5. We no longer have the right to personal time.

Most developed nations recognize that the right to the "pursuit of happiness” includes the ability to enjoy leisure time – in the evenings, on weekends, and on vacation. But each of these rights is being lost to the systematic reversal of gains that Americans first started making in the 19th century.

The US is one of the few developed nations that doesn't require employers to offer paid vacation time to their employees. Employees are increasingly unable to take the vacation time they've been promised. A survey published last May showed that many employees find it difficult to take vacation time. Some said there's nobody to cover for them because of staff cutbacks. Others said they couldn't afford it, the result of the same wage stagnation which has enriched their bosses. Still more said they felt pressure from the boss not to take any time off.

A long-term study of 12,000 men with heart disease showed that those who took vacations lived longer. In a society where fewer and fewer people can take time off, that means more people are literally “working themselves to death.”

And it's not just vacations, either. As Michael Janati noted in the Washington Times, “Americans are working approximately 11 more hours per week now than they did in the 1970’s, yet the average income for middle-income families has declined by 13% (when adjusting for inflation).” Employers routinely use email and phone calls to intrude on workers' off hours.

Want to know what indentured servitude looks like? Look around.

6. We can't negotiate as free people with banks or corporations.

The buyer/seller relationship is no longer a transaction between free equals. Corporations routinely deprive us of vital information when we enter into a business relationship with them, aided by weak regulations and lax enforcement. Banks frequently hide balloon payments and other key loan provisions in complex and unreadable documents, for example, while bankers misrepresent the terms of the loan.

Many types of corporations are allowed to operate in as monopolies or near-monopolies, including cable television operators and health insurers. (Blue Cross of Alabama, for example, provides 90 percent of the health insurance coverage in the city of Birmingham.)

The combination of deceptive marketing and near-monopoly situations destroys the “free market,” by any technical definition of the term. It denies us our freedom of choice and deprives us of our ability to negotiate our own contracts. And yet there's been a deafening silence from the libertarian movement, which has been commandeered by the Cato Institute and other institutions financed and controlled by large corporate interests.

Nowhere is our loss of liberty more apparent than in the banking industry, where MERS -- the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems – deprives Americans citizens and the courts of the ability to know who holds their mortgages or the terms of that contract. Total household debt is nearly 12 trillion dollars. Americans now owe more in student loans than they do on their credit cards, and new evidence shows that banks have been resorting to the same illegal tactics to collect credit card debt that they used on mortgages.

Want to fight back? You've lost that right. Banks control FICO and other credit-scoring agencies. Corporations walk away from bad loan deals with their banks all the time, or threaten to walk, simply because that loan is no longer in their financial interest. But even when bank customers were deceived by their banks, they have little recourse. If they don't pay back that unjust loan their credit scores will plunge and they'll lose their ability to borrow money, rent an apartment, even to get a job.

And it's not just banks. Corporations have used media manipulation and corrupted arbitration clauses to rob Americans of the right to sue even when they or their loved ones have been robbed, maimed, or kill by corporate greed and neglect. Instead, Americans have been forced to accept “arbitration clauses” from monopolistic forces that are heavily weighted in favor of the corporation. If they don't they're likely to be deprived of critical services like banking, power, and communications.

7. We're losing our right to live or travel where we want.

There are 16 million underwater homes in the United States, housing some 40 million people. These homeowners owe an estimated $1.2 trillion in “underwater” real estate value that disappeared when the housing bubble burst.

The bankers to whom they owe than money created the bubble, and were wealthy beyond measure when it burst. These homeowners have been left holding the bag – and the debt, owed to the very people who misled them into taking out mortgages. The deception often included forgeries, lies about the loan's terms, and filing of false information.

While they pay these unjust debts – or foreclose and face the consequences of that action – these homeowners have lost the right to relocate to another town or city, even if they want to move in search of jobs that many of them lost after the bank-spawned financial crisis. Their debts make that impossible. Like citizens in the Soviet state, they must first ask permission of a cold and powerful bureaucracy – except that in their case its their bank, not the State.

We're told that the early Bolsheviks charged prisoners' families for the bullets used to execute them. Americans are paying to prop up the banks that oppress them – through their taxes and their inflated debts. Meanwhile, many of these wealthy bankers in gated enclaves behind fences and guards. Would you like to get a glimpse of their lavish homes? You can't.

8. We've lost our right to privacy.

The CEOs of Facebook and Google have both said essentially the same thing: The age of privacy has ended. Get over it.

Privacy is supposed to be an essential right. Yet Americans who claim they'd defend it to the death cheerfully sacrifice it every day to play Mafia Wars. Or to search for a celebrity. Or to connect with high school classmates they never really liked anyway.

Internet companies sell our personal data for profit, often by using cookies on our computers to track our activity. Facebook sold users' video rental records. Google pulled Americans' personal information via WiFi when it created Street View. Apple iPhones were tracking and storing their owners' movements.

The government is already using corporate data, sometimes without subpoenas. Corporations have voluntarily allowed the government to use their technology to spy on citizens, included one reported case where the government placed a spy server at an ATT location to track the activities of its subscribers. There's a lot more that we don't know.

We were taught that a person' home is his or her castle. But our electronic devices have breached the castle walls, and have placed spies in our living rooms, dens … and bedrooms. Americans, especially conservatives, should be demanding that corporations give us back our privacy rights.

9. We're losing our right to participate in our society as informed citizens.

As Bill Moyers observed, “In 1984 the number of companies owning a controlling interest in America's media was 50 -- today that number is six.” Largely as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – a Republican bill signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton – this has eliminated many dissenting voices from the mainstream media and left a shockingly uniform political consensus in our media.

Polling shows that online media have increasingly overtaken newspapers as a source of information. But they also show that the vast majority of Americans still follow the news through television, which -- when combined with newspapers and radio -- means that corporate media still shapes our perception of current events. And their consensus can become positively Orwellian.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets for the 2001 inauguration of George W. Bush, only to be subject to an almost-complete news media blackout. An estimated one million demonstrators jammed the streets of cities in the United States and worldwide on February 15, 2003, to protest the invasion of Iraq. But their presence was either ignored by the mainstream media or subject to an artificial illusion of “balance” through the extensive cutaway shots to pro-war supporters than often numbered in no more than the dozens.

Even more Orwellian is the sight of reporters at news outlets like the Washington Post – which has outsourced much of its financial reporting to an organization run by right-wing billionaire Pete Peterson – to use labels such as “extreme” and “fringe” to describe politicians and organizations who are advocated for policies which in some cases are supported by 75 or 80 percent of all Americans. This creates a false reality which supports our final loss of freedom:

10. We're losing the right to representative democracy.

On issue after issue, the wishes of most Americans are ignored or marginalized by the nation's political and media elite. Views that are held by most Republicans – and in some cases even by most Tea Party members – are dismissed as “extreme” inside the Beltway. While 75 percent of most Americans and 76 percent of Tea Party supporters opposed Social Security cuts to balance the budget, leaders in both political parties were meeting to negotiate those cuts. (They were scuttled by a fallout between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner similar cuts were being negotiated between Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton when the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted.)

Most Americans want tighter control on US banks, and that's considered politically impossible. They want much higher taxes for millionaires, which is also dismissed. Meanwhile, the nation continues to pursue policies that benefit the most unpopular institutions in the nation, according to that Gallup poll: big corporations, HMOs, and Wall Street banks. The only thing on Gallup's list that's more unpopular than these three institutions? Congress.

The Cause of Liberty

We need to take back the language of freedom. Freedom's struggle is the struggle against Big Wealth. That's the right argument, and it's a winning argument. As John Adams said many years ago:

“Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong . If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply . ”

In the words of Corey Robin, “It’s long past time for us to start talking and arguing about . the principle of freedom.”

Why a 1995 speech proved formative for Clinton

NEW YORK — Flying across the Pacific on an Air Force jet bound for Beijing, first lady Hillary Clinton huddled deep into the night with a few aides and advisers, honing her speech for the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women.

It was 1995, and it had been a bruising first few years in the White House: Troopergate, Travelgate, Whitewater. Not to mention the failure of her own high-profile efforts – unprecedented for a first lady – to reform the nation’s health care system.

Even her trip to China provoked controversy. There were objections in some quarters to a first lady wading into tricky diplomatic waters and addressing issues like human rights abuses. Some in Congress called the conference “anti-family” and felt the United States shouldn’t be attending at all. Some feared offending the Chinese with criticism others feared the hosts might use the U.S. participation – and the first lady’s – as propaganda.

In the end, Clinton decided to make the trip, hoping to “push the envelope as far as I can on behalf of women and girls.”

“All eyes were now on Beijing, and I knew that all eyes would be on me, too,” she writes in her memoir, “Living History.”

But as she rose to the podium, and even after she had stepped down to thunderous applause, Clinton had no idea the impact the moment would have, she says. More than two decades later, that 21-minute speech – with its declaration that “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights” – remains one of her signature moments in public life.

It also stands out as a moment Clinton began to truly forge an identity as a public figure on the world stage apart from her husband.

“It gave her a platform that was instantly recognizable, one that she could utilize in a very efficacious way to make a difference,” says Melanne Verveer, Clinton’s chief of staff at the time.

And while Clinton was no stranger to the subject she addressed – she had long been an advocate for women and children – the Beijing speech would set a course for the issues with which she would be involved for the rest of her career, especially as secretary of state, says Verveer, who later served as the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues.

“It played a major role in who she would become. It really was one of those evolutionary, transformative moments.”

And it almost didn’t happen. A few months earlier, Chinese-American dissident Harry Wu had been arrested upon entering China and charged with espionage, throwing the participation of the U.S. delegation and Clinton, its honorary chair, into limbo. He was finally released less than a month before the conference Clinton writes that there was “never a quid pro quo.”

She and her aides flew from Hawaii, where President Bill Clinton was speaking on the anniversary of V-J Day at Pearl Harbor. Working on the draft while others slept, the group was keenly aware that “one wrong word in this speech might lead to a diplomatic brouhaha,” Clinton writes.

Hours later, she took the microphone in the large hall. She began by telling the delegates that when women are healthy, educated and free from violence, with a chance to work and learn, their families flourish, too. About halfway through, she declared: “It’s time to break the silence. It’s time for us to say here, for the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights.”

With emphasis on the word “human” each time, she listed abuses against women – and called them human rights violations (she did not mention China by name). Then came her most famous line: “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

Once the words had been translated for all to digest, the reaction was thunderous. “People have tears running down their cheeks, they’re stomping their feet,” Verveer recalls. In her memoir, Clinton writes that despite the reaction, she still had no idea “that my 21-minute speech would become a manifesto for women all over the world.”

It’s difficult to understand in 2016 just how new Clinton’s message felt, says Kathy Spillar, executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

“We look back 21 years later, and we go, ‘duh’ – but it was groundbreaking at the time,” she says. “It was huge – the first lady of the United States saying this, just outright. Many women were coming from countries where discrimination against women disguised as cultural practice was widely happening. Even the U.N. as a whole hadn’t embraced this agenda. … It was just an extraordinary moment in the centuries-long struggle for women’s full human rights around the world.”

But does the moment resonate for younger generations? Clinton’s presidential campaign has struggled – especially during the primary season against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – to capture the enthusiasm of young voters.

“For millennials and the 18-30 group, it does seem like ancient history,” says Debbie Walsh of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. “But I think that when that speech is played and those words are heard, they’re still meaningful. The global issues are not solved, and I think they do resonate with young women. So teaching young women in particular about Beijing – and what a departure it was from most first ladies to do something like that – is an important message for the Clinton campaign.”

Writer Andi Zeisler was in her early 20s at the time, and she remembers news of the Beijing speech coming in stark contrast to more negative coverage of Hillary Clinton, especially when her husband was running for president.

“Hillary had become a focal point in so many ways, almost all of which were negative – the fact that she didn’t give up her career … this whole phenomenon of Hillary Clinton as a first lady considered too big for her britches or uppity or unforgivably ambitious,” says Zeisler.

And so the Beijing speech amounted to “seeing her find a place where her voice was welcomed and where she kind of fit,” says Zeisler, 43, author of “We Were Feminists Once” and co-founder and editorial director of the nonprofit Bitch Media. “I always think of the Beijing speech in the context of the word ’empowerment’ because it was one of the first places on a global level where empowerment as an agenda – and as something that we should be striving for – was brought up.

“It was such an obvious thing: Women’s rights are human rights. It seemed self-evident. But that was a real bombshell for a lot of people,” she says.

Reminders of the moment have arisen often in Clinton’s global travels, Verveer says.

“Even today if somebody comes up to her who remembers, they’ll introduce themselves,” she says. “They’ll say, ‘I was in Beijing.’ It’s that instant recognition that they shared something.”

Hillary Clinton's Most Famous Feminist Speech Almost Never Happened

"It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and for the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights," Clinton intoned, 20 years ago this past weekend. In this famous speech, delivered at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women on September 5, 1995, Clinton condemned the global injustices that undermined women and girls. But Clinton did not travel to China only to point fingers.

"As an American," she said, "I want to speak up for women in my own country&mdashwomen who are raising children on the minimum wage, women who can't afford healthcare or childcare, women whose lives are threatened by violence, including violence in their own homes." At the time, Clinton saw that women all over the world were in crisis. She wanted to represent them.

"It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls," she continued, or "when women and girls are sold into slavery or prostitution for human greed. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire, and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small," she said, or "when thousands of women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war."

Her words made a dramatic impression. Clinton, the New York Times said at the time, had spoken "more forcefully on human rights than any American dignitary has on Chinese soil," including her husband. Looking back, Tina Brown termed it "the speech that launched a movement." As Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, wrote in an email to "Hillary Clinton helped solidify the idea that human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights." The actress and humanitarian Salma Hayek is still fixated on those immortal words. "It is as if we were considered less than human [until then]," she says. Because of Clinton, she adds, "the eyes of the world were opened to this injustice." Madeline Albright, who also attended the conference, recalls that "without question, Hillary Clinton's speech was the high point of the conference. It was beautifully written and forcefully delivered it expressed strong support for family values, rapped China for its failure to allow freedom of expression, and highlighted the sentence that would become the hallmark for a global movement."

But it almost never happened.

"It was tenuous," admits Melanne Verveer, who then served as Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton in the White House. "A lot of people did not think she should go." That summer, Chinese-American dissident Harry Wu had been arrested, and relations between the Chinese and United States governments had soured.

"It made people nervous," muses Ginger Lew, who has advised the Obama administration on economics and attended the conference in Beijing. "There was a lot of pressure on her not to go. . But I don't think there was any question in her mind. She was very clear. She was going." Clinton, Verveer says, "knew that this could make a difference. She wanted to push the envelope on behalf of women and girls around the world, and, throughout that up and down, she just focused on the speech."

Given the fracas, it was, Verveer explains, "a very closely held set of remarks."

"It wasn't a speech by committee&mdashput it that way," former Clinton speechwriter Lissa Muscatine says. Together with just a few staff members, including Verveer and Muscatine, and her husband, Clinton toiled over the speech. The president, Verveer asserts,"was totally behind her going." But while President Clinton was supportive, Verveer says it was Hillary who insisted on the specifics of the platform. She did not want to "water it down," Muscatine adds.

Though it was a trailblazing development and groundbreaking for its forcefulness, Clinton had already started to focus on gender issues. Earlier that year, Clinton had traveled to Copenhagen for the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, and she had toured innovative projects and programs for women in South Asia. "By the time she had gotten to Beijing," Verveer points out, "she had an awful lot under her belt&mdashcertainly as First Lady, working in the United States, and increasingly on the world stage."

From the moment she landed in Beijing, Clinton was energized by the prospect of the speech ahead of her. "We were working around the clock," Lew notes. "I remember Secretary [of Health and Human Services Donna] Shalala had fallen asleep in the middle of a session, and I just remember that Hillary reached out to give her a boost&mdashpretty hard. She let out this little scream. [Clinton] just never got tired. She outworked all of us."

"When we walked into the convention hall, it was just literally packed to the rafters."

"She was very relaxed&mdashvery chatty," Lew continues. "You could tell she was on a real high, really just energized from the tremendous welcome she had gotten. When we walked into the convention hall, it was just literally packed to the rafters&mdashjust brimming. You could just feel the buzz. We all sat down, and we waited."

While Muscatine remembers that she and Verveer were "petrified," Clinton did not seem nervous. Outfitted in a pink suit and pearls, she was the picture of diplomatic tact. But as soon as she addressed the audience, she was thunderous.

"When she uttered those famous words, the place just erupted," Lew states. "In those few words, she&helliplegitimized at the highest level of government around the world that this was an issue that had to be dealt with. The United States was going to be a leader in pushing this agenda, and she was personally vested in this issue."

Clinton wanted the speech to "draw attention to the experiences of hundreds and hundreds of millions of women around the world who were voiceless," Muscatine says. "And really in a very vivid and compelling way get people everywhere to understand that the world was not going to make progress if women continued to be marginalized," she remembers. "The end of the speech was really a call to action."

When it was over, delegates streamed toward Lew to praise the speech: "So many of them rubbed my shoulder or my arm almost as if the magic of the moment could be captured by that." Verveer recalls that "people were on their feet, reaching out to her, screaming as she left the hall. Even delegations that may have been divided in terms of their positions on some of the issues were saying it was a remarkable speech."

"People were on their feet, reaching out to her, screaming as she left the hall."

In the years since Clinton issued her battle cry, the speech still resonates."To this day, you can travel in the world and meet women who were there and remember it so well," Verveer says. "Women introduce themselves to her and say, 'I was in Beijing.' It was one of those moments that made it seem like we were all in this together." Bonnie Campbell, whom President Clinton had recently appointed to head the U.S. Department of Justice's newly created Violence Against Women office and who Hillary invited to attend the Beijing conference, adds that when she travels abroad "even today," women "know those words. It is incredible to appreciate how much it did in retrospect." Secretary Albright echoes the sentiment: "In the years since, I have met many women from many places who tell me they were at Beijing, or had friends who were, or who were inspired by the conference to launch initiatives."

"For four decades, she's been working on these issues," says Muscatine, who is happy to admit her favoritism. "Her presidential campaign is just an extension of her general philosophical belief that this is the role of government"&mdashto recognize who is "struggling at the margins" and to create "a society in which people can truly work hard and get ahead." Women have always been "at the center of that."

For all the progress that has been made in the years since the speech was delivered, however, there remains much work to do. The U.N. reported this year that only one in five parliamentarians is a woman. More women than ever are being paid for their work, but wages continue to be inequitable between men and women. Despite its widespread condemnation, one in three women worldwide is the victim of violence. "While much progress has been made towards achieving its goals, no country &ndash including the United States &ndash has fulfilled its agenda," says Secretary Albright. "My hope is that this anniversary will serve as a rallying cry for a new generation of leaders to recommit to making progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment."

For Clinton, the memory has obviously not faded. Marking the anniversary on the trail in New Hampshire this weekend, Clinton quoted her own words.

"Human rights are women's rights," she told supporters. "And women's rights are human rights&mdashonce and for all."

Most Presidential Candidates Speak at Grade 6-8 Level

A readability analysis of presidential candidate speeches by researchers in Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute (LTI) finds most candidates using words and grammar typical of students in grades 6-8, though Donald Trump tends to lag behind the others.

A historical review of their word and grammar use suggests all of the five candidates in the analysis — Republicans Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (who has since suspended his campaign), and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — have been using simpler language as the campaigns have progressed. Again, Trump is an outlier, with his grammar use spiking in his Iowa Caucus concession speeches  and his word and grammar use plummeting again during his Nevada Caucus victory speech.

"Win," after all, is more likely to appear in 3 rd grade texts than "regrettably."

A comparison of the candidates with previous presidents show President Lincoln outpacing them all, boasting grammar at the 11 th grade level, while President George W. Bush's 5 th grade grammar was below even that of Trump.

"Assessing the readability of campaign speeches is a little tricky because most measures are geared to the written word, yet text is very different from the spoken word," said Maxine Eskenazi, LTI principal systems scientist who performed the analysis with Elliot Schumacher, a graduate student in language technologies. "When we speak, we usually use less structured language with shorter sentences."

An earlier analysis by the Boston Globe used the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which is based on average sentence length and average number of syllables per word, and found Trump speaking at a 4 th grade level, two grade levels below his peers. Eskenazi and Schumacher used a readability model called REAP, which looks at how often words and grammatical constructs are used at each grade level and thus corresponds better to analysis of spoken language.

Based on vocabulary, campaign trail speeches by past and present presidents — Lincoln, Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — were at least on the 8 th grade level, while the current candidates ranged from Trump's 7 th grade level to Sanders' 10 th grade level. Trump and Hillary Clinton's speeches showed the greatest variation, suggesting they may work harder than the others in tailoring speeches to particular audiences, Schumacher said.

In terms of grammar, none of the presidents and presidential candidates could compare with Lincoln's Gettysburg Address — an admittedly high standard, with grammar well above the 10 th grade level. The current candidates generally had scores between 6 th and 7 th grades, with Trump just below 6 th grade level. President Bush scored at a 5 th grade level.

Analyzing campaign speeches is difficult because it often is hard to obtain transcripts of speeches, Schumacher said. It is possible to generate reliable transcripts from video using automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems, such as those developed at LTI when the speech took place in a quiet environment, but he and Eskenazi opted not to use today's automated methods because they were likely to introduce errors in the noisy environment of campaign rallies.

Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Emanuel's paternal grandfather was a Moldovan Jew who emigrated from Bessarabia. [8] The surname Emanuel (Hebrew: עמנואל ), which means "God is with us", was adopted by their family in honor of his father's brother Emanuel Auerbach, who was killed in 1933 in an altercation with Arabs in Jerusalem. [9] [10]

Emanuel's father, Benjamin M. Emanuel, was a Jerusalem-born [11] pediatrician at Michael Reese Hospital [12] who was once a member of the Irgun, a Jewish paramilitary organization that operated in British Mandate Palestine. [13] His mother, Marsha (née Smulevitz), is the daughter of a West Side Chicago union organizer who worked in the civil rights movement. She briefly owned a local rock and roll club, [9] [14] and later became an adherent of Benjamin Spock's writings. Emanuel's parents met during the 1950s in Chicago. [14]

Emanuel was born on November 29, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois. His first name, Rahm ( רם ‎) means high or lofty in Hebrew. [10] He attended Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Lakeview for elementary school. He has been described by his older brother Ezekiel, an oncologist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, as "quiet and observant" as a child. [12] Ari, his younger brother, is the CEO of Endeavor, an entertainment agency with headquarters in Beverly Hills, California. [15] Rahm Emanuel also has a younger adopted sister, Shoshana. [9]

While he lived in Chicago, Emanuel attended the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. After his family moved to Wilmette, north of the city, Emanuel attended public schools: Romona School, Locust Junior High School, and New Trier High School. [14] [16] He and his brothers attended summer camp in Israel, including the summer following the June 1967 Six-Day War. [9] [17] Ezekiel has written that their father "did not believe in falsely building his sons' self-esteem by purposefully letting us win, or tolerating sloppy play". About Rahm, he also wrote:

Though fiercely intelligent . he was not naturally inclined to sit at a desk and put in extra effort to turn a B into an A. As my father often said, without noting that the phrase applied to himself at that same age, "Rahm always tries to get the maximum for the minimum." [12]

Rahm was encouraged by his mother to take ballet lessons, and is a graduate of the Evanston School of Ballet, [18] as well as a student of The Joel Hall Dance Center, where his children later took lessons. [19] He won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet, [20] but turned it down to attend Sarah Lawrence College, a liberal arts school with a strong dance program. [21] This background, as well as the mayor's short stature, has led critics of the Mayor to nickname him "tiny dancer". While an undergraduate, Emanuel was elected to the Sarah Lawrence Student Senate. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, and went on to receive a Master of Arts in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985. [22]

Emanuel took part in a two-week civilian volunteer holiday, known as the Sar-El, where, as a civilian volunteer, he assisted the Israel Defense Forces during the 1991 Gulf War, helping to repair truck brakes in one of Israel's northern bases. [23] [24]

While a high school student working part-time at an Arby's restaurant, Emanuel severely cut his right middle finger on a meat slicer, which was later infected from swimming in Lake Michigan. His finger was partially amputated due to the severity of the infection. [12] [25]

Emanuel began his political career with the public interest and consumer rights organization Illinois Public Action. [26] He went on to serve in a number of capacities in local and national politics, initially specializing in fund-raising for Illinois campaigns, and then nationally. [27]

Emanuel worked for Democrat Paul Simon's 1984 election to the U.S. Senate. [28] He also worked as the national campaign director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 1988, and was senior advisor and chief fund-raiser for Richard M. Daley's successful initial campaign for mayor of Chicago, in 1989 . [26]

At the start of then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton's presidential primary campaign, Emanuel was appointed to direct the campaign's finance committee. [27] Emanuel insisted that Clinton schedule time for fund-raising and delay campaigning in New Hampshire. [29] Clinton embarked on an aggressive national fund-raising campaign that allowed the campaign to keep buying television time as attacks on Clinton's character threatened to swamp the campaign during the New Hampshire primary. Clinton's primary rival, Paul Tsongas (the New Hampshire Democratic primary winner), later withdrew, citing a lack of campaign funds. [30] Richard Mintz, a Washington public relations consultant who worked with Emanuel on the campaign, spoke about the soundness of the idea: "It was that [extra] million dollars that really allowed the campaign to withstand the storm we had to ride out in New Hampshire [over Clinton's relationship with Gennifer Flowers and the controversy over his draft status during the Vietnam War]." Emanuel's knowledge of the top donors in the country, and his rapport with "heavily Jewish" donors helped Clinton amass a then-unheard-of sum of $72 million. [31] While working on the Clinton campaign Emanuel was a paid retainer of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. [32]

Following the campaign, Emanuel served as a senior advisor to Clinton at the White House from 1993 to 1998. [33] In the White House, Emanuel was initially Assistant to the President for Political Affairs [34] and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy. [35] He was a leading strategist in White House efforts to institute NAFTA, [36] [37] among other Clinton initiatives. [38]

Emanuel is known for his "take-no-prisoners style" that has earned him the nickname "Rahmbo". [39] Emanuel sent a dead fish in a box to a pollster who was late delivering polling results. [40] On the night after the 1992 election, angry at Democrats and Republicans who "betrayed" them in the 1992 election, Emanuel stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign and began plunging a steak knife into the table and began rattling off names while shouting "Dead! Dead! Dead!". [9] Before Tony Blair gave a pro-Clinton speech during the impeachment crisis, Emanuel reportedly screamed at Blair "Don't fuck this up!" while Clinton was present. [41] Blair and Clinton both burst into laughter. [42] However, by 2007 friends of Emanuel were saying that he has "mellowed out". [31] Stories of his personal style have entered the popular culture, inspiring articles and websites that chronicle these and other quotes and incidents. [43] [44] [45] [46] The character Josh Lyman in The West Wing was said to be based on Emanuel, though executive producer Lawrence O'Donnell denied this. [47]

Freddie Mac Edit

In 2000, Emanuel was named to the Board of Directors of Freddie Mac by President Clinton. He earned at least $320,000 during his time there, including later stock sales. [50] [51] During Emanuel's time on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities. [51] [52] The Bush administration rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel's time as a director. [51] The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight later accused the board of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention". Emanuel resigned from the board in 2001 before his first bid for Congress. [53]

Elections Edit

In 2002, Emanuel pursued the U.S. House seat in the 5th district of Illinois, previously held by Rod Blagojevich, who successfully ran for governor of Illinois. His strongest opponent in the crowded primary of eight was former Illinois state representative Nancy Kaszak. During the primary, Edward Moskal, president of the Polish American Congress, a political action committee endorsing Kaszak, called Emanuel a "millionaire carpetbagger". [54] Emanuel won the primary and defeated Republican candidate Mark Augusti in the general election. Emanuel's inaugural election to the House was the closest he ever had, as he won more than 70% of the vote in all of his re-election bids.

Tenure Edit

Emanuel was elected after the October 2002 joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, and so did not vote on it. However, in the lead up to the resolution, Emanuel spoke out in support of the war. [ citation needed ]

In January 2003, Emanuel was named to the House Financial Services Committee and sat on the subcommittee that oversaw Freddie Mac. A few months later, Freddie Mac Chief Executive Officer Leland Brendsel was forced out and the committee and subcommittee commenced more than a year of hearings into Freddie Mac. Emanuel skipped every hearing allegedly for reasons of avoiding any appearance of favoritism, impropriety, or conflict of interest. [55]

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Edit

Emanuel assumed the position of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman (DCCC) after the death of the previous chair, Bob Matsui. Emanuel led the Democratic Party's effort to capture the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections. The documentary HouseQuake, featuring Emanuel, chronicles those elections. [57] Emanuel had disagreements over Democratic election strategy with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Dean favored a "fifty-state strategy", building support for the Democratic Party over the long term, while Emanuel advocated a more tactical approach focusing attention on key districts. [58]

The Democratic Party gained 30 seats in the House in the 2006 elections, and Emanuel received considerable praise for his stewardship of the DCCC, even from Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood, who said, "He legitimately can be called the golden boy of the Democratic Party today. He recruited the right candidates, found the money, and funded them, and provided issues for them. Rahm did what no one else could do in seven cycles." [59]

However, Emanuel also faced some criticism for his failure to support some progressive candidates, as Howard Dean advocated. [60] Emanuel had "aggressively recruited right-leaning candidates, frequently military veterans, including former Republicans". Many of the Representatives that Rahm had recruited, such as Heath Shuler, ended up "[voting] against important Obama administration priorities, like economic stimulus, banking reform, and health care". Howie Klein has suggested that Emanuel's congressional campaign strategy was short-sighted, as it "contributed to the massive G.O.P. majorities we have now, the biggest since the nineteen-twenties" when the Democrats lost control of the House in the 2010 mid-term elections. [4]

After Emanuel's election as chairman of the Democratic Caucus (see below), Chris Van Hollen became committee chair for the 110th Congress.

Democratic Caucus chairman Edit

After his role in helping the Democrats win the 2006 elections, Emanuel was believed to be a leading candidate for the position of Majority Whip. Nancy Pelosi, who became the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, persuaded him not to challenge Jim Clyburn, but instead to succeed Clyburn in the role of Democratic Caucus Chairman. In return, Pelosi agreed to assign the caucus chair more responsibilities, including "aspects of strategy and messaging, incumbent retention, policy development, and rapid-response communications". Caucus vice-chair John Larson remained in his role instead of running for the chairman position. [61]

After Vice President Dick Cheney asserted that he did not fall within the bounds of orders set for the executive branch, Emanuel called for cutting off the $4.8 million the Executive Branch provides for the Vice President's office. [62]

Positions on political issues Edit

Emanuel is generally liberal on social issues. He has maintained a 100-percent pro-choice voting record, supports LGBT rights including same-sex marriage, and is a strong supporter of gun control, rated "F" by the NRA in December 2003. [63] He has also strongly supported the banning of numerous rifles based upon "sporting purposes" criteria. [64]

During his original 2002 campaign, Emanuel spoke in support of the goal of "to help make health care affordable and available for all Americans". [31]

In his 2006 book, co-authored with Bruce Reed, The Plan: Big Ideas for America, [65] Emanuel advocated a three-month compulsory universal service program for Americans between the ages of 18 and 25. A similar, expanded version of the initiative was later proposed by Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.

During his original 2002 campaign, Emanuel "indicated his support of President Bush's position on Iraq, but said he believed the President needed to better articulate his position to the American people". [31]

In the 2006 congressional primaries, Emanuel, then head of the Democratic congressional campaign committee, helped organize a run by Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran with no political experience, against grassroots candidate Christine Cegelis in Illinois' 6th district. Expedited withdrawal from Iraq was a central point of Cegelis' campaign and Duckworth opposed a withdrawal timetable. [66]

In June 2007, Emanuel condemned an outbreak of Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip and criticized Arab countries for not applying the same kind of pressure on the Palestinians as they have on Israel. At a 2003 pro-Israel rally in Chicago, Emanuel told the marchers that Israel was "ready for peace" but would not get there until Palestinians "turn away from the path of terror". [67]

Emanuel declared in April 2006 that he would support Hillary Clinton should she pursue the presidency in 2008. Emanuel remained close to Clinton since leaving the White House, talking strategy with her at least once a month as chairman of the DCCC. [16] However, Emanuel's loyalties came into conflict when his home-state Senator, Barack Obama, expressed interest in the race. Asked in January 2007, about his stance on the Democratic presidential nomination, he said: "I'm hiding under the desk. I'm very far under the desk, and I'm bringing my paper and my phone." [68] Emanuel remained neutral in the race until June 4, 2008, the day after the final primary contests, when he endorsed Obama. [69]

On November 6, 2008, Emanuel accepted the position of White House Chief of Staff for US President Barack Obama. [70] [71] He resigned his congressional seat effective January 2, 2009. [72] A special primary to fill his vacated congressional seat was held on March 3, 2009, and the special general election on April 7. [73] John Fritchey, a candidate for that seat, said at a forum that Emanuel had told him he may be interested in running for the seat again in the future. [74]

Some Republican leaders criticized Emanuel's appointment because they believed it went against Obama's campaign promises of less divisive politics, given Emanuel's reputation as a partisan Democrat. [71] Republican Senator Lindsey Graham disagreed, saying: "This is a wise choice by President-elect Obama. He's tough, but fair, honest, direct, and candid." [75] Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said that the choice indicated that Obama would not listen to the "wrong people" regarding the U.S.–Israel relationship. [67] Some commentators opined that Emanuel would be good for the Israeli–Palestinian peace process because if Israeli leaders made excuses for not dismantling settlements, Emanuel would be tough and pressure the Israelis to comply. [76] [77] Some Palestinians expressed dismay at Emanuel's appointment. [78] [79]

Weeks after accepting the appointment, Emanuel participated on a panel of corporate chief executive officers sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, and said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." [80] Emanuel explained later, ". what I said was, never allow a good crisis to go to waste when it's an opportunity to do things that you had never considered, or that you didn't think were possible." [81]

In a 2009 article in The New York Times, Emanuel was characterized as being "perhaps the most influential chief of staff of a generation". [82]

He has a reputation for his no-holds-barred negotiation style that involves "his share of shouting and cursing". Ezekiel Emanuel has written, "The impatient, pushy Emanuel style is so well known that during a recent job interview I was asked, point-blank, whether I had the level-headed temperament the position required. . . [A]s obvious as our flaws are to others, it's difficult to recognize them in ourselves." [12] At a January 2010 closed-door meeting in the White House with liberal activists, Emanuel called them "fucking retarded" for planning to run TV ads attacking conservative Democrats who didn't support Obama's health-care overhaul. After the remarks were quoted in a front-page story of the Wall Street Journal, [83] and after he was criticized by Sarah Palin, Emanuel apologized to organizations for the mentally handicapped for using the word "retarded". [84] [85]

According to Jonathan Alter's book, The Promise, Emanuel opposed Barack Obama's plan for a broad health care reform, but Obama overrode him. Emanuel advocated a smaller plan because it could get bi-partisan support. Emanuel wanted to expand coverage for children, and increase the number of single mothers eligible for Medicaid. For that reason, it was dubbed "the Titanic plan", a reference to the priority given to saving women and children during the sinking of the Titanic. [86] Reportedly, House Speaker Pelosi had to convince Obama on the health care initiative after Emanuel dramatically scaled it back. Emanuel has since apologized for his role, saying, "Thank God for the country, he didn't listen to me", after the Supreme Court upheld "ObamaCare" in 2012. [4]

As chief of staff, Emanuel would make his staff laugh. During a staff meeting, when Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra gave uniformly upbeat reports, Emanuel is said to have looked at him and said: "Whatever you're taking, I want some." [87] Emanuel had a hand in war strategy, political maneuvering, communications and economic policy. Bob Woodward wrote in Obama's Wars that Emanuel made a habit of telephoning CIA Director Leon Panetta and asking about the lethal drone strikes aimed at Al Qaeda, asking, "Who did we get today?". [88]

In 2010, Emanuel was reported to have conflicts with other senior members of the president's team and ideological clashes over policy. He was also the focal point of criticism from left-leaning Democrats for the administration's perceived move to the center. By September 2010, with the Democrats anticipating heavy losses in mid-term elections, this was said to precipitate Emanuel's departure as chief of staff. [89]

Elections Edit

2011 Edit

On September 30, 2010, it was announced that Emanuel would leave his post as White House Chief of Staff to run for Mayor of Chicago. [90] He was replaced by Pete Rouse on October 2, 2010.

Emanuel entered the race with high-name recognition, having not only a sizeable local profile, but a sizable national profile. [91]

Emanuel's eligibility for office was challenged on the basis of his lack of residency in Chicago for one year prior to the election. This was the period when Emanuel was in Washington serving as the White House chief of staff. The Board of Elections and the Cook County Circuit Court affirmed his eligibility. A divided Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court, holding on January 24, 2011, that residency for purposes of a candidate is different from residency for purposes of being a voter. [92] A further appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court resulted in a unanimous decision reversing the Court of Appeals and affirming Emanuel's eligibility. [93] [94]

In the race, Emanuel had a financial advantage over the other candidates. [91] He was by far the best-financed candidate, with more than three times the campaign funds as the second-best financed candidate (Gery Chico), and more than twenty-times the third-best financed candidate (Carol Moseley Braun). [91] Emanuel's had his financial advantage from the very start of his candidacy, as he began his campaign with approximately $1.2 million from his congressional campaign fund. [91] By December 31, 2010 he had raised more than $10.5 million in additional funds. [91] On January 1, 2011 the Illinois Campaign Disclosure Act took effect, limiting individual personal contributions to candidates to $5,000. [91] Nevertheless, he continued to raise substantial funds, ultimately having procured a total $15 million over the course of his campaign (including those funds transferred from his congressional campaign committee. [91] Emanuel was able to raise so much because he had experience fundraising, had built a Washington connections and a national profile, and his brother Ari had Hollywood connections. [91] He had 75 contributors give more than $50,000, twenty-five of which were from out of state. [91] Among these high-dollar contributors were Steven Spielberg, Donald Trump, and Steve Jobs. [91] Despite having a national fundraising operation, three-quarters of his donations came locally. [91] More than $800,000 of his contributions were from financial exchange and trading executives, with his largest single donation being a $200,000 donation from executives of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. [91]

Emanuel proposed lowering the city's sales tax and raising the service tax. [91] Emanuel supported negotiating with the Chicago Teachers Union for longer school days and school years. [91] Emanuel opposed instituting an elected school board. [91] This received criticism from other candidates. [91]

Other candidates assailed his tenure at Freddie Mac. [91]

As the frontrunner, Emanuel had gotten more press coverage than other mayoral candidates. This was furthered by the fact that the challenge to his residency became a dominant headline. [91]

Emanuel entered the race with solid backing from North and Northwest Side Democratic Ward Committeemen. [91]

Emanuel's advertisements showed portrayed him as having strong roots in the city, and, in telling his biography, emphasized his upbringing on the North Shore. [91] Contrarily, Emanuel's opponents attempted to characterize him as a carpetbagger, hailing not from the city itself but rather from the North Shore and Washington, D.C. [91] Emanuel's advertisements also sought to emphasize his tenures in working in the White House and his tenure as a congressman. [91] Emanuel would highlight his relations with presidents Clinton and Obama. [91] He also sought to highlight the fact that he had forged connections in Washington during his time in congress, and also had strong business ties. [91]

Emanuel had overwhelming support from Jewish and LGBT voters. [91] Emanuel held a lead with independent progressives, including strong support from the lakefront liberals voting bloc of wealthy white progressives from the city's northern lakefront. [91] As the only white candidate in the race, Emanuel was seen as likely to receive unified support from a majority of the white electorate. [91] Since the hispanic vote was largely split between two hispanic candidates (Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle), once Emanuel was able to secure the support of the majority of the black vote, he had secured himself victory. [91]

In attracting African American voters to his candidacy, Emanuel was helped by his associations with Presidents Clinton and Obama, both of whom were extremely popular among the African American community. [91] After Moseley Braun's support began to crater following a character attack on fellow candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins which backfired, Emanuel was the beneficiary as the, largely African American, voters that abandoned their support of Moseley Braun's candidacy primarily migrated to support his candidacy. [91] Once this happened, Emanuel had all but secured himself a first-place finish, and the remaining candidates were left to jockey for second-place in hopes of there being a runoff. [91]

Emanuel carried the endorsements of both the city's major daily newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. [91]

Emanuel's mayoral campaign was the inspiration for a satirical Twitter account called MayorEmanuel, which received more than 43,000 followers, more popular than Emanuel's actual Twitter account. Emanuel announced on February 28 that if the author would reveal himself, he would donate $5,000 to the charity of the author's choice. [95] When Chicago journalist Dan Sinker revealed himself, Emanuel donated the money to Young Chicago Authors, a community organization which helps young people with writing and publishing skills. [96]

Emanuel was elected on February 22, 2011, with 55% of the vote, [97] and was sworn in as the 55th Mayor of Chicago on May 16, 2011, at the Pritzker Pavilion. At his inauguration were outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley, Vice President Joe Biden, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former Mayor Jane Byrne, and William M. Daley, brother of the outgoing mayor and who would later serve as White House Chief of Staff. [98] [99] Emanuel was Chicago's first Jewish mayor. [100]

2015 Edit

An August 2014, Chicago Tribune poll reported Emanuel had a 35% approval rating as mayor of Chicago. [101] [102]

In 2015, Emanuel won 56 percent of the vote in the run-off election against Jesús "Chuy" García held on April 7, 2015. [103] He had been hurt by sharp neighborhood criticism of his decision to shut down 50 public schools in black and Latino neighborhoods, and his installation of red light cameras, together with anger at the high level of gun violence on the streets. On the other hand, he was supported by the business community and most elements of the Democratic party. [104]

2019 Edit

Emanuel announced in October 2017 that he was running for reelection in 2019, despite low approval ratings and some potentially serious challengers. [5] In September 2018, Emanuel then announced he would not run for reelection as previously announced. Close friend David Axelrod told USA Today that Emanuel had grown uncertain about his devotion to a third term. [105] Emanuel had been leading in the polls prior to his decision to withdraw. [105] [106] [107] In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel stated that he had been conferring with his wife and children for months before announcing the decision and that he felt it was time to "write the next chapter." [6]

Tenure Edit

Emanuel assembled a transition team from varied backgrounds. [108] [109] On November 16, the city council voted unanimously to adopt the mayor's first budget, which decreased the budget by $34 million and increased spending by $46.2 million, supported by increasing fees and fines. Despite most Aldermen opposing cuts to library workers and the closure of mental health clinics, they ultimately supported it, calling it "honest". [110] [111] At a news conference in November 2012, Emanuel listed his top three priorities for the state legislature as security and pension reform, adding a casino to Chicago, and equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. [112] At a press conference with then Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who previously vetoed legislation to put a casino in Chicago, the two were "very close" to reaching a deal. [113]

In April 2018, Emanuel received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from NUI Galway, a university in Chicago's sister city of Galway, Ireland, with the conferrers citing achievements in education reform while Mayor. [114] [115]

Aldermanic appointments Edit

As mayor, Emanuel appointed several individuals to fill vacancies on the Chicago City Council. This included appointing Natashia Holmes as 7th Ward alderman in 2013, [116] Deb Mell as 33rd Ward alderman in 2013, [117] Sophia King as 4th Ward alderman in 2016, and Silvana Tabares as 23rd Ward alderman in 2018. [118]

Following the resignation of Willie Cochran in March 2019, Emanuel had the opportunity to make a final aldermanic appointment, appointing an interim alderman to hold the seat until his successor (to be elected in an April 2 runoff) would assume office on May 20. [119] However, Emanuel did not make such an appointment, leaving the seat vacant until March 20.

Police and community relations Edit

In August 2012, a federal lawsuit was filed by eleven Chicago police officers alleging they were removed from the mayoral security detail and replaced with officers who worked on Emanuel's mayoral campaign, in violation of the 1983 Shakman Decree, which bars city officials from making political considerations in the hiring process. [120]

Rahm Emanuel faced a great deal of criticism for his handling of the October 20, 2014, police shooting of Laquan McDonald. The dash-cam video of the shooting was initially withheld, and only was released after a judge ordered it on November 24, 2015. After the video release, Emanuel was condemned for covering up the incident and allowing Chicago police to use excessive force against minorities. [121] Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote that the Emanuel administration withheld from the public the police dashboard camera video of the shooting in order to secure the reelection. [122] Emanuel responded to criticism of the shooting and how it was handled by firing police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. [123] In early December, the federal Justice Department announced an investigation into the Chicago Police Department, a move which Emanuel initially called "misguided". [124] Illinois state legislator La Shawn Ford also introduced a bill to recall the mayor (an effort most pundits claim was more symbolic than practical). [125]

Protests erupted soon after the release of the video, and on Black Friday protesters shut down part of the city's Magnificent Mile. [126] [127] Public calls for resignation grew steadily over this period, including a well-circulated op-ed published in The New York Times. [128] By early December, Emanuel's approval rating had sunk to 18%, with 67% of Chicagoans disapproving of his job performance, and slightly more than half of those polled calling for his resignation. [129] During the week of December 10, protestors blocked streets and continued to call for Emanuel to resign. [130] [131] Additional protests against Emanuel and Chicago's Police Department were held on the city's busy Michigan Avenue shopping area on December 24, 2015. [132]

On December 26, 2015, a police officer killed two people in another shooting, including a woman whom the officer had shot by mistake. On December 28, Emanuel announced that he was cutting short his vacation in Cuba to deal with the crisis. [133] [134] [135] Emanuel announced several changes to the Chicago police department on December 30, including doubling the number of Tasers issued to officers. [136] On New Year's Eve, the Emanuel administration released e-mails revealing they had sought to coordinate with independent agencies such as the Independent Police Review Authority regarding public relations after the shooting. [137] [138] [139] The same day The New Yorker added to the wave of negative media attention surrounding the mayor by publishing "The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel", an article critically reevaluating Emanuel's legacy as a political operative since the early 1990s. [4]

Public education Edit

In 2012, during the contract negotiations between the city and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), compromise could not be reached over issues like health insurance increases, teacher evaluations, and seniority pay increases. [140] On August 8, 2012, the CTU voted 90% to authorize a strike. [141] On September 10, the CTU began a strike [142] after CTU President Lewis declared that negotiations with the city were not succeeding. [143] On September 14, the CTU reached a tentative agreement with the city which included preferences for teachers who have been laid off due to a school closing to be hired in another school and student test scores having less of a role in teacher evaluations than the city had originally planned. [144] This tentative agreement did not hold, and the strike continued, after which Emanuel announced his intention to seek a legal injunction, forcing teachers back to work. [145] On September 17, Emanuel's efforts to end the strike stalled as the walkout went into the second week. [146] Delegates from the CTU voted to end the strike on September 18, 2012, [147] [148] and students began their return to the schools the following day. [149]

On September 17, 2013, Emanuel's appointed Chicago Board of Education announced the closing of 50 Chicago public schools, 49 elementary schools and a high school — the largest school closure in Chicago history. [150]

The trends in dropout and graduation rates have shown considerable improvement in the last five years, but researchers point out the alternative school performance does not follow the general trend. [151] [152]

Public health Edit

On August 16, 2011, Emanuel unveiled "Healthy Chicago", the city's first public health blueprint with Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair. [153] Emanuel initiated the consolidation of City Council committees from 19 to 16 in a cost control effort. [154] On October 30, 2012, Emanuel voiced his support for the demolition of the abandoned Prentice Women's Hospital Building, in order for Northwestern University, which owns the property, to build a new facility. Preservationists supported historical landmark status. [155] Days later, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted that the building met landmark status criteria then reversed their decision later in the same meeting. On November 15, a judge granted a temporary stay of the decision in order for a lawsuit filed by preservation coalitions against the landmark commission to be heard. [156]

However, Rahm Emanuel didn't grant quality health to those who resided in historically segregated neighborhoods. [157]

Transparency Edit

Emanuel rejected requests under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act from The Chicago Tribune for various communication and information logs for himself and his staff, labelling it "unduly burdensome". After a second request by the Tribune, they were informed that 90 percent of the e-mails had been deleted by Emanuel and his top aides. [158] As a result, Emanuel came under fire for going against his campaign promise to create "the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Chicago has ever seen". [159]

Tax-exempt status of Lollapalooza Edit

Lollapalooza, an annual summer music festival in Grant Park, was exempt from taxation. Emanuel's brother Ari is the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor, which co-owns the event. In 2011 Rahm Emanuel asked the City Council to appoint an independent third party negotiator, to avoid having the negotiation seen as biased. Although the deal was reached before Emanuel took office, tax breaks must be negotiated every year. [160] It was later revealed that the festival received its tax exemption for 2011 in the final days of the Daley administration. [161] In 2012, Lollapalooza paid taxes for the first time in seven years and extended its contract to host in Grant Park through 2021. [162]

Hyperloop Edit

Rahm Emanuel announced preliminary plans to award Elon Musk a contract to build a Hyperloop between downtown Chicago and the city’s O’Hare airport, although it would receive no public subsidies under this plan. However, some criticized the fact that Elon Musk has in the past donated more than $55,000 to Rahm Emanuel’s various election campaigns, suggesting a potential conflict of interest between the two. [163]

Immigration Edit

Chicago became a "de jure" sanctuary city in 2012 when Rahm Emanuel and the City Council passed the Welcoming City Ordinance. [164] [165]

Approval ratings Edit

Pollster Date Approve Disapprove Unsure Margin of error Sample size Polling segment Polling method Source
Crain's Chicago Business / Ipsos September 2012 37% 36% 27% ± 4.7% Less than 600 Chicago adults Online [166]
Crain's Chicago Business / Ipsos February 2013 19% 35% 45% [note 1] ± 4.7% Less than 600 Chicago adults Online [167]
Chicago Tribune / WGN-TV April 30–April 6, 2013 50% 40% ± 3.2% 800 Chicago voters Telephone [168]
APC Research / Chicago Tribune August 6–12, 2014 35% ± 3.5% 800 Chicago registered voters Telephone [169]
Illinois Observer December 2015 18% 67% 739 Chicago likely voters [170]
Research America Inc. / Chicago Tribune Jan 20–28, 2016 27% 63% ±3.2% 985 Chicago registered voters Telephone [171]
Kaiser Family Foundation / New York Times April 21–May 3, 2016 25% 62% 12% ± 4% 1123 Chicago adults Telephone [172]

End of tenure Edit

Emanuel planned to arrange for a smooth transition between his mayoral administration and that of his elected successor Lori Lightfoot. Reports were that he intended to model the transition between their administrations upon the U.S. presidential transition between the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Emanuel had been part of that transition as Obama's Chief of Staff designate. [173]

Hours after Emanuel left office, the magazine The Atlantic, where he had written a dozen essays in prior months, made him a contributing editor [174] however, this honorary title was withdrawn after black staff members objected. [175] In May 2019, he was named founding executive chair of the National BAM Advisory Council of the Becoming A Man youth program. [176] In June 2019, Emanuel joined Centerview Partners as a senior counselor. [177] Since July 2019, Emanuel has also served as a political analyst for ABC News. [178] [179] [180]

Biden administration Edit

Progressive politicians nationally, e.g. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Matt Martin, have opposed his potential inclusion in Joe Biden's Cabinet, citing his handling of the murder of Laquan McDonald. [181] [182] Initially, Emanuel was considered for Transportation secretary in the Biden administration. [183] [184]

It was reported in February 2021 that Emanuel was being considered by the Biden administration as an ambassador to either China or Japan. [185] In April 2021 it was reported that Biden had chosen him for ambassador to Japan. [186] In May 2021, reports indicated Biden would soon nominate Emanuel to serve as ambassador to Japan. [187]

Mayor of Chicago Chicago mayoral election, 2015: Run-off [188]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Rahm Emanuel (Incumbent) 319,543 55.7
Non-partisan Jesús "Chuy" García 253,981 44.3
Total votes 573,524 100
Chicago mayoral election, 2015: Primary [189]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Rahm Emanuel (Incumbent) 218,217 45.63
Non-partisan Jesús "Chuy" García 160,414 33.55
Non-partisan Willie Wilson 50,960 10.66
Non-partisan Robert Fioretti 35,363 7.39
Non-partisan William "Dock" Wallis III 13,250 2.77
Total votes 478,204 100
Chicago Mayoral Election, 2011 [190] (General Election)
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Rahm Emanuel 323,546 55.25
Non-partisan Gery Chico 140,362 23.97
Non-partisan Miguel del Valle 54,342 9.28
Non-partisan Carol Moseley Braun 52,483 8.96
Non-partisan Patricia Van Pelt Watkins 9,604 1.64
Non-partisan William "Dock" Walls III 5,291 0.90
Total votes 585,628 100
US House of Representatives
U.S. House, 5th District of Illinois (General Election)
Year Winning candidate Party Pct Opponent Party Pct Opponent Party Pct
2002 Rahm Emanuel Democratic 67% Mark Augusti Republican 29% Frank Gonzalez Libertarian 4%
2004 Rahm Emanuel (inc.) Democratic 76% Bruce Best Republican 24%
2006 Rahm Emanuel (inc.) Democratic 78% Kevin White Republican 22%
2008 Rahm Emanuel (inc.) Democratic 74% Tom Hanson Republican 22% Alan Augustson Green 4%

Emanuel and his wife, Amy Merritt Rule, have a son and two daughters. The family lives in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago's north side. [191] Rule converted to Judaism shortly before their wedding. [192] Emanuel is a close friend of fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, chief strategist for Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign, and Axelrod signed the ketuba, the Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel's wedding. [40] The Emanuels are members of the Chicago synagogue Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel. [31] Rabbi Asher Lopatin of the congregation described Emanuel's family as "a very involved Jewish family", adding that "Amy was one of the teachers for a class for children during the High Holidays two years ago". [31] Emanuel has said of his Judaism: "I am proud of my heritage and treasure the values it has taught me." [31] Emanuel's children attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago's south side. [193]

Each year during the winter holidays, Emanuel takes a family trip on which his children can be exposed to other cultures and parts of the world. Prior family trips have been to Vietnam, India, Kenya, Zambia, and South America. His 2015 holiday trip was scheduled for the island of Cuba. [194]

Emanuel trains for and participates in triathlons. [16] In 2011, he scored 9th out of 80 competitors in his age group. A passionate cyclist, he rides a custom-built, state-of-the-art Parlee road bike. [195]

Clinton Scandals: A Guide From Whitewater To The Clinton Foundation

Former Arkansas employee Paula Jones (center, with long hair) sued Bill Clinton for civil money damages in 1994 alleging that Clinton had propositioned her in a Little Rock hotel room years earlier. The Washington Post/Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

Former Arkansas employee Paula Jones (center, with long hair) sued Bill Clinton for civil money damages in 1994 alleging that Clinton had propositioned her in a Little Rock hotel room years earlier.

The Washington Post/Washington Post/Getty Images

Donald Trump has promised to speak Wednesday about, in his words, "the failed policies and bad judgment of Crooked Hillary Clinton."

He had previously billed the speech, which was postponed after last week's Orlando shooting, as addressing "all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons." Specifically, Trump had vowed to cover everything from what he calls the couple's "politics of personal enrichment" to Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, which he argued was "designed to keep her corrupt dealings out of the public record, putting the security of the entire country at risk." Trump has previously attacked Clinton on the campaign trail for her husband's scandals with women, calling her an "enabler." And just this week, Trump referenced a new book by a former Secret Service employee who said he witnessed allegedly abusive behavior when the Clintons occupied the White House.

The ongoing FBI investigation into Clinton's email practices may be well known. But over decades in public life, dating to Bill Clinton's tenure as a state official in Arkansas, numerous other public controversies — from the death of Vince Foster and Whitewater to Benghazi — have swirled around the Clintons.

Here's our shorthand guide to some of those scandals and their outcome.

Alexander Tin and Ashley Young contributed to this report.

A Guide To The Clintons' Scandals

Whitewater, 1992

Allegation: The granddaddy of all Clinton scandals surfaced during Bill Clinton's bid for the presidency. It centered on financial contributions by Bill and Hillary Clinton into a real estate entity known as Whitewater Development Corporation during his time as an Arkansas state official. Eventually, the Justice Department and independent counsel launched investigations.

Outcome: Neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton faced prosecution for their involvement in Whitewater. But their public statements about the matter, and the handling of documents that went missing and later reappeared, came under intense scrutiny. Their partners in the real estate investment were Jim McDougal and his then-wife Susan. Jim McDougal was convicted of fraud charges for making bad loans and he died of heart disease in a Texas prison. Susan was convicted of fraud in connection with obtaining a $300,000 federally-backed small business loan. She refused to answer grand jury questions in the Whitewater affair and was held in contempt of court, spending 18 months in jail. Bill Clinton pardoned her before he left the White House in early 2001.

Travelgate, 1993

Allegation: Not long after Bill Clinton entered the White House, in May 1993, seven workers in the travel office were fired. The White House attributed the ouster to ethics and financial record-keeping problems in the office. Critics said the Clintons got rid of government workers to make room for cronies. The FBI was tapped to investigate.

Outcome: The Justice Department, at least one congressional panel, and special prosecutors all probed the reason for the firings. Independent Counsel Ken Starr found no blame rested with Bill Clinton. Another independent counsel scrutinized Hillary Clinton's involvement and statements about the firings but seven years after the event, he found no basis to bring any charges against her.

Born This Day In History 6th November

Celebrating Birthday's Today

Celebrating Birthday's Today

Jerry Yang
Born: 6th November 1968 Taipei, Taiwan
Known For : The Co-Founder and CEO of Yahoo which he and David Filo created in 1994 while he was studying at Stanford University, the original name was "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" later renamed to Yahoo. Yahoo is still one of the top 3 visited sites in the world according to traffic figures and has been the subject of takeover bids from Microsoft.

Glenn Frey
Born: 6th November 1948 Detroit, Michigan
Known For : One of the founding members of the Eagles who gained world wide success and recognition in the seventies with singles which included "One of These Nights", "Lyin' Eyes", "Take It to the Limit", "Hotel California" and "Best of My Love". And a number of world wide top selling albums including Desperado, One of These Nights, Hotel California and The Long Run. The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998

2012 Executive Orders Signed by Barack Obama

Executive Order 13606
Blocking the Property and Suspending Entry Into the United States of Certain Persons With Respect to Grave Human Rights Abuses by the Governments of Iran and Syria via Information Technology

  • Signed: April 22, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 24571, April 24, 2012
  • See: EO 12957, March 15, 1995 EO 13338, May 11, 2004

Executive Order 13607
Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members

Executive Order 13608
Prohibiting Certain Transactions With and Suspending Entry Into the United States of Foreign Sanctions Evaders With Respect to Iran and Syria

  • Signed: May 1, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 26409, May 3, 2012
  • See: EO 12938, November 4, 1994 EO 12957, March 15, 1995 EO 13224, September 23, 2001 EO 13338, May 1, 2004

Executive Order 13609
Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

  • Signed: May 1, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012
  • See: EO 12866, September 30, 1993 EO 13563, January 18, 2011 EO 13636, February 12, 2013

Executive Order 13610
Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens

  • Signed: May 10, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 28469, May 14, 2012
  • See: EO 12866, September 30, 1993 EO 13563, January 18, 2011 EO 13636, February 12, 2013 EO 13707, September 15, 2015

Executive Order 13611
Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen

Executive Order 13612
Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Agriculture

  • Signed: May 21, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 31153, May 24, 2012
  • Revokes: EO 13542, May 13, 2010

Executive Order 13613
Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Commerce

  • Signed: May 21, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 31155, May 24, 2012
  • Revokes: EO 13242, December 18, 2001

Executive Order 13614
Providing an Order of Succession Within the Environmental Protection Agency

  • Signed: May 21, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 31157, May 24, 2012
  • Revokes: EO 13261, March 19, 2002 EO 13344, July 7, 2004

Executive Order 13615
Providing an Order of Succession Within the Office of Management and Budget

  • Signed: May 21, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 31159, May 24, 2012
  • Revokes: EO 13370, January 13, 2005

Executive Order 13616
Accelerating Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

  • Signed: June 14, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 36903, June 20, 2012
  • See: EO 13604, March 2, 2012

Executive Order 13617
Blocking Property of the Government of the Russian Federation Relating to the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted From Nuclear Weapons

  • Signed: June 25, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 38459, June 27, 2012
  • See: EO 12938, November 14, 1994 EO 13085, May 26, 1998 EO 13159, June 21, 2000
  • Revoked by: EO 13695, May 26, 2015

Executive Order 13618
Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions

  • Signed: July 6, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 40779, July 11, 2012
  • Revokes: EO 12472, April 3, 1984
  • Amends: EO 12382, September 13, 1982
  • See: EO 12333, December 4, 1981 EO 13526, December 29, 2009

Executive Order 13619
Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Burma

  • Signed: July 11, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 41243, July 13, 2012
  • Amends: EO 13448, October 18, 2007 EO 13464, April 30, 2008
  • See: EO 13047, May 20, 1997 EO 13310, July 28, 2003 EO 13448, October 18, 2007 EO 13464, April 30, 2008 EO 13651, August 6, 2013
  • Revoked by: EO 13742, October 7, 2016

Executive Order 13620
Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency With Respect to Somalia

  • Signed: July 20, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 43483, July 24, 2012
  • See: EO 13536, April 12, 2010

Executive Order 13621
White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

  • Signed: July 26, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 45471, August 1, 2012
  • Continued by: EO 13652 , September 30, 2013 EO 13708 , September 30, 2015
  • See: EO 13532, February 26, 2010

Executive Order 13622
Authorizing Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran

  • Signed: July 30, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 45897, August 2, 2012
  • Amended by: EO 13628, October 9, 2012 EO 13645, June 3, 2013
  • See: EO 12957, March 15, 1995 EO 13628, October 9, 2012
  • Revoked by: EO 13716, January 16, 2016

Executive Order 13623
Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally

Executive Order 13624
Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency

Executive Order 13625
Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families

Executive Order 13626
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration

  • Signed: September 10, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 56749, September 13, 2012
  • See: EO 12777, October 18,1991 EO 13554, October 5, 2010

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13627
Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13628
Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran

  • Signed: October 9, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 62139, October 12, 2012
  • Amends: EO 13622, July 30, 2012
  • See: EO 12957, March 15, 1995 EO 12959, May 6, 1995 EO 13059, August 19, 1997 EO 13599, February 5, 2012 EO 13622, July 30, 2012
  • Amended by: EO 13716, January 16, 2016

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13629
Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13630
Establishment of an Interagency Task Force on Commercial Advocacy

  • Signed: December 6, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 73893, December 11, 2012
  • See: EO 13534, March 11, 2010

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13631
Reestablishment of Advisory Group

  • Signed: December 7, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 74101, December 12, 2012
  • Continued by: EO 13652, September 30, 2013
  • See: EO 13544, June 10, 2010 EO 13591, November 23, 2011

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13632
Establishing the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13633
Closing of Executive Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government on Monday, December 24, 2012

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13634
Reestablishment of Advisory Commission

  • Signed: December 21, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 77 FR 77249, December 31, 2012
  • Continued by: EO 13652, September 30, 2013
  • See: EO 13555, October 19, 2010

class="pdfImage">Executive Order 13635
Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay

  • Signed: December 27, 2012
  • Federal Register page and date: 78 FR 649, January 3, 2013
  • Supersedes: EO 13594, December 19, 2011
  • Superseded by EO 13641, April 5, 2013

This page was last reviewed on March 28, 2019.
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