It's taken me way too long to confess this...
Rahm Emanuel, Da (relatively new) Mare, is hot-tempered, spectacularly vulgar, tiny, and probably a complete sonofabitch, but also ridiculously charismatic in person, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.
You know those people who used to say Bill Clinton was really magnetic in person, and you'd look at the pictures and think NO WAY? Yeah. Emanuel's like that. The man is a ceramic magnet writ large.
How do I know? Kid2 and I met him once when he was campaigning for mayor in front of Lane Tech. Another time, we stared each other down near Merit School of Music - exchanging long mutual "you lookin' at me?" stares as he crossed the intersection in his car. I glimpsed him once more from afar at Merit's Gala, but he was a little busy, so I didn't go over to say hello.
At Lane, Rahm shook my hand - and at 5'5" I was pleasantly surprised to look straight across into his eyes - and said, "Hi, I'm Rahm Emanuel, and I'm running for mayor."
I was completely unprepared for my own reaction. I said, "I know," trying hard to avoid giving him the once-over and hoping my smile wouldn't be construed as a leer. Throughout the experience, a low electromagnetic hum seemed to emanate from his person as he worked his way down the crowd of parents and students.
Somewhere around here I have a photo of Rahm and Kid2 squinting into the sun, taken that day on my cell phone.
This blogger nailed it years ago. Well there it is. Heaven help me if I ever meet Clinton. I really don't like that man.