CHICAGO (WLS) --Over the past few weeks Illinois voters have faced a deluge of political messages from the candidates. But something has been missing from this year's Illinois primary campaign season: Chicago's mayor.
As Hillary Clinton bounced from one Chicago campaign event to another yesterday one of her biggest supporters, a man who often brags about working for her husband in the white house was noticeably absent, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is laying low this election season.
"If I took my eye off the ball the public would feel like I'm not doing my job as mayor. That is what they hired me to do and I'm going to stay focused on it," he said.
Laser focused or political liability? Political science Prof. Paul Green says Emanuel is the latter. With his approval ratings low, candidates are staying away from Emanuel unless he is being used for negative purposes.
"Rahm Emanuel is a symbol that is negative. If you attack Emanuel, people who he allegedly supports, by definition they get smeared with the same brush," Green says.
Ted Cruz is linking Emanuel with Donald Trump.
"Donald Trump gave $7,000 to Rod, $12,000 to Cook County Democrats and, amazingly, $50,000 to Rahm Emanuel," Cruz said at an event on Monday.
But no candidate has smeared his opponent with the Rahm brush more than Bernie Sanders. The democratic candidate bashes Chicago's democratic mayor in a TV ad, and the Rahm rhetoric also proves to be a big hit in Sanders' stump speeches.
"I want to thank Rahm Emanuel for not endorsing me. I don't want his endorsement," he said.
Emanuel is taking it in stride.
"Well, I suppose Bernie Sanders and my Passover dinner won't be happening together this year," he said Tuesday.