Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel finds himself on the ropes thanks to an escalating series of scandals surrounding the Chicago Police Department's killing and treatment of black people. His approval ratings have plummeted, the state legislature is deciding whether to pass a law that would allow him to be recalled, and a chorus of people is demanding his resignation.
One of Emanuel's apparent solutions to this political crisis, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Saturday, has been to suddenly spend a lot of time with his black constituents.
From the Sun-Times:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded to the growing outrage over his handling of the Laquan McDonald case by embarking on a campaign to step up his presence in black Chicago, according to newly obtained records that show how the City Hall public relations machine worked to limit the political damage.
After the release of the police dashcam video in November — showing now-indicted Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the teenager 16 times as he walked away from officers — Emanuel began making more visits to African-American churches.
His staff posted photos on Twitter showing him eating at soul food restaurants.
He pressed to keep minority political allies on his side.
The Twitter aspect of Emanuel's PR push is especially pronounced. The video showing McDonald's killing was released on November 24 of last year. The overwhelming majority of the photos posted on Emanuel's official Twitter feed since then show him interacting with black people.
So far, there is scant evidence that this approach is working. Emanuel was greeted by protesters shouting "shame on you!" when he showed up at the city's annual Martin Luther King prayer breakfast on Friday. Protesters also interrupted the actual breakfast multiple times.