I've been trying to ignore the soap opera-like perils of former Obama chief of staff turned Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel -- but that's been getting harder to do now that he's been tossed off the ballot for not meeting the city's residency requirements, thanks to his recent stint in D.C. Despite all the drama, I think he'll eventually end up back on the ballot. He's well-connected and well-funded, and those kind of people always get their way in America in 2011.
But should be on the ballot? I have to confess that I'm torn. On one hand, this is supposed to be a democracy -- and so shouldn't we trust the voters to decide if Emanuel is enough of a Chicagoan for them? On the other hand, most of us agree there should probably be some restrictions on who can hold political office. Most Americans support the constitutional provisions that a president be 35 and a natural born U.S. citizen. We don't want a president who was born in...just to pick a wild example, Kenya.
So check me off as undecided, for once. What do you think?
I will say this, however. Rahm Emanual is a guy who's been working the national scene for most of the last 15 years or so, while other politicians in Chicago have been pounding that city's rough-and-tumble streets, day in and day out. You would think that someone who's actually been around would be more deserving to run the nation's third-largest city. The ill-tempered Emanuel seems to to be leading his rivals in the mayoral race for two reasons: He has friends in high places, and he's better able to raise money from millionaire fat cats than anyone else. So even if Emanuel is legally qualified to be mayor...why in the nane of God would anybody out there want him?