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Davis wants Clinton to stay out of race for mayor

December 29, 2010 6:59:44 AM PST
Congressman Danny Davis, who is running for Chicago mayor, is asking former President Bill Clinton to stay out of it.

Former President Clinton is scheduled to come to Chicago to campaign for Rahm Emanuel.

On the residency issue, a Circuit Court judge has been assigned to the case, and he has agreed hear arguments on Tuesday and make a decision on the same day.

Meanwhile, Rahm Emanuel is getting a big boost from his former boss. Former President Bill Clinton will be coming to campaign for Emanuel for one day in January.

Clinton is a master campaigner and continues to be extremely popular in Democratic politics, especially among African-Americans.

Despite that, former President Bill Clinton is coming to Chicago next month to stump for his old friend, Rahm Emanuel.

Mayoral hopeful Danny Davis is urging Clinton to stay out and stay home.

"There has been tremendous affinity between African-American community and the Clintons," Davis said. "I would hope continue that track I just simple hope that the president would be neutral."

Davis fears that relationship with Clinton may be fractured should the former president stump for the candidate running against, as Davis calls it, "the legitimate aspirations of Chicago's black community."

Davis would prefer Clinton to be neutral in Chicago mayoral politics, though the congressman admits, if the president came calling on Davis he wouldn't turn him down.

"I would still just assume he didn't come to town and campaign for anybody unless he was campaigning for me," said Davis.

Stumping for Emanuel is not the first time Clinton has helped his former White House aide. The president campaigned for Emanuel's first run for Congress in 2002.

ABC7 political contributor Laura Washington does not believe helping Emanuel will make a huge difference in Clinton's relationship with African-Americans or with the Emanuel campaign.

"It will be a good media pop," said Washington. "It will give him a nice footage for a campaign commercial. I don't think that is what is going to put Rahm Emanuel over the top to win."

And efforts to keep Emanuel off the ballot are underway in Circuit Court. Lawyers on both sides set a date Tuesday afternoon to hear arguments over Emanuel's residency before a judge.

Leading the legal fight against the mayoral candidate is Bert Odelson.

"We are pleased at the speed this is going to go," said Odelson.

The need for speed on the case is because absentee ballots must be shipped out soon and early voting begins January 31.

Odelson is confident he will have better luck in the appellate and Illinois Supreme courts.

As for Bill Clinton's visit, mayoral candidate Gery Chico says he welcomes the former president's visit because it highlights the difference between his candidacy and Emanuel's.

"I'm not surprised that the president would come to support his former employee, Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel worked there. He's a Washington guy. He's been working in Washington most of his adult life. I've been in Chicago," Chico told ABC7.


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