Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel allegedly snapped at mental-health advocates when they dared to ask him about the closure of six mental health clinics in the city. Here's to hoping this helps to sink his reelection campaign. Republicans may love it when their politicians act like thugs to their constituents as we saw from Chris Christie over the last few years, but I'd be surprised if this sort of behavior is appealing to any Democratic voters.
Chicago’s mayor allegedly blew up when he was asked why he closed clinics. Looks like ‘Rahmbo’ is back.
They say old Rahm Emanuel came out last night—or maybe it was the real one hiding in plain sight all the time: a sneering, aggressive pol who went “nose-to-nose” with a mental-health advocate demanding, “You’re gonna respect me!”
The alleged exchange took place off-camera between Chicago’s mayor and Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, a member of Mental Health Movement, a group that has been fighting the mayor over the closure of six mental health clinics across the city. Behind a door that separated the mayor from a roomful of constituents at a campaign stop in the Wicker Park neighborhood, Ginsberg-Jaeckle says, he got Rahmbo’d.
“This is the Real Rahm,” Ginsberg-Jaeckle wrote on Facebook. “Calm and collected in public, raging angry and self-defensive behind closed doors.”
But Emanuel's campaign, while not directly refuting the mayor's alleged call for respect, said the exchange was more cordial than Ginsberg-Jaeckle's version of events. The mayor's office has reached out Ginsberg-Jaeckle and Delgado to address their concerns, campaign spokesman Steve Mayberry said in a statement.
"The mayor was eager to get to the substance of the residents' concerns," Mayberry said via email. "After respectfully listening to the residents, he asked that they respectfully listen to his point of view. As a result, the meeting ended cordially and the mayor is working with health officials to address the residents' needs."
Debbie Delgado, another member of the group, interrupted Emanuel, prompting the behind-closed-doors altercation.↓ Story continues below ↓
“She told of losing her son to gun violence,” Ginsberg-Jaeckle wrote. “She told [Emanuel] how her other son was holding him as he died. She told about how the city's Northwest Mental Health Clinic in Logan Square saved their lives, helped her and her son deal with the PTSD and depression. Then she asked why he took that clinic away from her.” [...]
Rahm said he would speak with the pair, and Ginsberg-Jaeckle said they then left the room for a private conversation. That’s when Emanuel allegedly shouted: “You’re gonna respect me!”
The mayor’s office wouldn’t address the supposed angry exchange.
“Since it was a non-city event there were no city people there to witness it,” said Chloe Rasmas, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office. Read on...