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How Rahm Emanuel might reinvent Chicago politics

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Still, Emanuel is no neophyte to Chicago's ways. In Congress, he represented the Fifth District, which includes Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Uptown, where the city stores much of its most delicious real estate and influence. He raised money for Richard M.'s campaign. He was a confidant for legions of Chicago politicians, among them President Obama.

He made millions as an investment banker after his years in the Clinton White House. He knows where all the unmarked political graves and land mines are. He's going to need all that knowledge, and more, not to mention the pepper he delights in bringing to every job he has held.

Emanuel will have to come in charging, his reputation for toughness and aggression on full display, says Paul Green, a political scientist at Roosevelt University in Chicago and a stalwart on the mayoral watch for many years. "The pretty card has been played," says Dr. Green of Daley's determined campaign to beautify what had once been the grittiest city in America with parks, flowerpots, rooftop gardens, and bike paths. The city sparkles, but the problems loom just beneath the surface.

"Now he's going to have to deal with the financial stuff. That's where it's at," says Green. "I think the big thing with Emanuel is, can he keep intimidating people? I think his intimidation skills are stupendous."

"It's a weak mayor/strong council situation, so the only way you get the council to not act like a bunch of idiots is to intimidate them. I think that is what you have to do, and blowing your top at the correct time is a real advantage.... The city council's the Pips and Rahm's going to be Gladys Knight."

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