Rahm Emanuel has benefited from the parking meter deal since he began campaigning for mayor last year.

He knows Chicagoans hate it, so even though he’s generally open to privatization, whenever the meter agreement comes up he seizes the opportunity to contrast the budgetary “smoke and mirrors” of the past with the new era of “tough choices” and transparency.

In other words, he’s not the mayor who ruled before—the one who got us into this mess.