If Looks Could Kill
If only for a second or two, blood lust flashed in the eyes of Chicago's Mayor-elect, who also happens to be one of America's most practiced political serial killers.
All it took to momentarily revive Emanuel's predatory instincts were mentions of the names Luis Gutierrez, Bobby Rush and Danny Davis.
The three congressmen from Chicago--who supported other candidates in the mayoral campaign--said some really awful things about Emanuel in the process.
Gery Chico-supporter Gutierrez practically accused the former White House chief of staff of single-handedly de-railing immigration reform during the 21 months Emanuel served President Barack Obama.
What's more, Gutierrez spearheaded the spin that Rahm's alleged inaction caused hundreds of thousands of deportations and countless family breakups during that period.
African-American lawmakers Rush and Davis--who supported Carol Moseley Braun--charged repeatedly that during Emanuel's congressional career(2002-2008), the northsider sided 128 times against the the Congressional Black Caucus. How many times did we hear the tale of a heartless Rahm who voted against a "measley" five million dollar grant for drought-stricken sub-Saharan Africans?
None of the manufactured mud stuck as Emanuel won by huge margins among black voters and held his own in the predominantly Latino wards.
But the hibernating hitman within Emanuel must have been stirred by the attacks as he campaigned for mayor in a city which is at least 65% African-American and Hispanic.
But the fact that none of the above has offerred even a private apology to Emanuel is perhaps an ominous sign of trouble on the way.
As he proved during his 2006 chairmanship of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee (DCCC), Rahm knows a thing or two about how to take out a House member. His victims may have been dozens of Republicans five years ago but his well-honed knives will cut through blue as well as red.
And the seats of Guiterrez, Rush and Davis will be more vulnerable in 2012 after the state is redistricted according to the 2010 census.
And remember, Mayor Emanuel will be Richard M. Daley "on steroids" when it comes to controlling political money in Chicago. He's got the cash to field so-called reform candidates for any office in the region. "Reform" in this usage is Rahm-speak for people who see things the Emanuel way.
So imagine Emanuel sitting alone in his office, pondering three photos of former colleagues while fighting that familiar urge.
If I was a congressman and knew that mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel was staring at my image...
...I'd make the phone call.