- Jonathan Bachman/AP Photos
- Is it possible that the Donald is a bigger schmuck than Rahm Emanuel?
With the escalating showdown between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Donald Trump breaking into national news, Chicagoans have been forced to answer the day’s toughest question:
Which of the two is the bigger schmuck?
Not who has the bigger schmuck—that’s a totally different question, people.
Oh lord, this choice is tough. It reminds me of the time I was compelled to ask who’s the bigger asshole—Mayor Rahm, Bruce Rauner, or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Not who has the bigger—oh, you get it.
First, a brief explanation.
The City Council and Mayor Emanuel gave Trump the okay to put his name—in big bold letters—on the front of Trump Tower, the downtown high rise he built on the banks of the Chicago River.
Blair Kamin, the Tribune‘s Pulitizer Prize-winning architecture critic, helped ignite the controversy when he wrote that the “sign’s grotesquely overscaled letters mar the surface of an otherwise handsome skyscraper.”
Preach, Blair, preach!
Trump went on Twitter to lambast Kamin as “a third-rate architectural critic.”
To which Kamin said: bring it, bitch!
Just kidding—Blair’s way too refined to say anything like that. At least not in public.
Into the fray jumped Mayor Rahm, whose spokeswoman told reporters that the mayor “believes this is an architecturally tasteful building scarred by an architecturally tasteless sign.”
Which moved Trump to go on TV to say—well, that’s enough of an explanation.
Anyway, now we have to decide who’s the bigger schmuck.
Generally, I’d go with the mayor—because he’s the home team, so to speak. But, let’s be honest—Donald Trump is no ordinary schmuck.
He is the dude who waged a one-man crusade to turn the so-called birthing conspiracy into a campaign weapon against President Obama.
That’s pretty schmucky.
On the other hand, Mayor Emanuel closed mental health clinics in high-crime areas on the grounds that it would save a few nickels and dimes in tax money. Never mind helping people deal with the mental trauma of gunfire.
Then he helped usher in a state tax break for the richest of the rich.
So you can see—the schmuck competition is very fierce.
One thing’s for certain: this spat is most definitely not about the architectural integrity of Trump Tower or its sign.
Please, Chicago, don’t fall for that.
I think we can all agree that the mayor doesn’t really care about stuff like that.
He’s the mayor who gave Northwestern University the green light to destroy Prentice Hospital. Here, read all about it—just in case you forgot.
He’s also the mayor who’s letting the Cubs turn Wrigley Field into something like a Schaumburg strip mall.
And, let’s not forget that he accepted the $50,000 campaign contribution that Trump gave him in December 2010.
So you might say this is a spat among friends. Excluding Blair Kamin, of course.
My guess is that the mayor saw this as welcome opportunity to win a few public relations points by engaging in a fight with a public figure who’s even more disliked than he is.
As hard as it is to believe that such a creature exists.
It reminds me of the supposedly tough words the mayor had for the parking meter owners, whose lease deal he got the council to lock into place.
As we head into the campaign season, look for the mayor to engage in other high-profile spats with unpopular people.
Maybe Donald Sterling’s up next.
Home town booster that I am, I must concede that Donald’s an even bigger schmuck than Mayor Rahm.