While Mayor Rahm Emanuel worked crowds and gave a speech on behalf of President Obama at the Democratic Convention, a looming teachers strike and bloody shootings plague Chicago.
Wednesday, Emanuel claimed he didn't want to "set expectations" about whether Chicago teachers will strike next week, but he did say a walkout is "not necessary," according to a Chicago Times report.
“I believe if everybody stays at the table and works through the issues (we'll continue to) make good and steady progress,” Emanuel said. "Our kids should stay in the classroom which is where they’re going to learn and everyday they’re not there a day has been taken away from them and it’s not necessary.”
Emanuel hit the Democrat-friendly television air waves Wednesday starting with the “Today” show, “Good Morning America” the “Early Show” and CNN, even dropping in at Politico’s Playbook breakfast.
Emanuel took a few questions from Chicago reporters including a query about Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis repeatedly calling him a “bully.”
"It’s not about name calling,” Emanuel said. “I’ve been in politics long enough, they can say what they want about me. It’s not about me and it’s not about anybody else. It’s not a personality fight. It’s about children.”
Emanuel was asked what the political damage might be if a teachers strike paralyzed the region’s schools for the first time in 25 years. Emanuel evaded that question, by replying he didn’t want to negotiate in public.
“I don’t believe in setting expectations,” he said.
Emanuel claims he is not distracted from the city’s problems while he campaigns on behalf of his former boss, Obama, at the convention and steps up his role afterward.
“It is in the interest of the city of Chicago that President Obama get re-elected," Emanuel said. "The president and his team asked me to come and speak. I’m going to be here I don’t think for 36-hours and I won’t miss a beat.
Concerning crime, Chicago has seen a spike in shootings and violent crimes in 2012. Police have been literally working overtime to quell the violence, much of which is gang related.