Former President Clinton: “Fearlessly Honest Rahm”

Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Rahm Emanuel for mayor of Chicago today at a rally in the Chicago Cultural Center, but the high profile visit is not without controversy.

Many critics who have tried to label the mayoral contender Rahm Emanuel as an outsider from Washington.

Clinton spoke for nearly 20 minutes during the closed-door $250,000 fund raiser, Clinton said Chicago needs “a big person for the job” of mayor.

“Rahm is not even 6-feet tall. He probably weighs about 150 pounds dripping wet. But in all the ways that are important, he is a very big person,” Clinton said. “He has made big decisions.”

Clinton also spoke about how he first met Emanuel while running for President and said he didn’t know how to raise money until he met Emanuel. “Fearlessly honest”, was the former presidents way of describing Emanuel to the filled room.

He credited Emanuel’s “skill set and values and sheer raw energy and determination and love” for the jobs he was assigned.

Crediting the former president, Emanuel called Clinton a “teacher” and a “mentor,” saying Clinton helped instill the values that led him to run for Congress as well as for mayor.

“The challenge of change requires determination, strength, vision and courage,” Emanuel said. “Chicago is big enough, tough enough, strong enough and resilient enough to meet the challenge of change head on.”

But, Clinton’s endorsement didn’t come without controversy.  When Emanuel left the White House, Clinton appointed him to the board of Freddie Mac. Emanuel’s position on the board has also been highlighted by other mayoral candidates, which include Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle. Both held news conferences almost an hour before Clinton was scheduled to arrive.