Since taking office in May, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has done an impressive job of letting the city know that he inherited a mess.

It’s a smart, battle-tested move. Shrewd politicians always spend their first months, and sometimes years, emphasizing how badly their predecessors did things. It’s a way of lowering expectations and buying time.

And since time is something Rahm Emanuel doesn’t waste, it’s no surprise that he’s issued almost-daily reminders that we’ve got big problems.