Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel will say just about anything to round up support for his April 7 runoff election, in which he faces city councilman Chuy Garcia.
At a forum last night he was asked why he dropped plans to name a new high school after his former boss, President Obama, and a parkway after the late African-American pastor Arthur Brazier. Some black voters have expressed anger at Emanuel for what they perceive as snubs against both men.
“We have to, in some way, whether it’s President Obama or in the other case, Dr. Brazier, acknowledge people who have done significant things. We have an airport, two of them, named after, you know, Midway Airport, O’Hare Airport,” Emanuel said. “These are people who have been transformative in the city of Chicago. But we have airports named after battleships.” That last line was a reference to O’Hare Airport, which actually honors World War II Navy pilot Edward “Butch” O’Hare. And Midway Airport was named after the Battle of Midway, the turning point of World War II in the Pacific.
An Emanuel spokeswoman later said the mayor had no plans to change the names of either airport, but if the polls tighten before the runoff, such plans could easily suddenly materialize.