By Howard Koplowitz -
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia would appear to be the kind of candidate U.S. President Barack Obama would happily support for Chicago mayor. Garcia is a Mexican immigrant from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and is a Chicago community organizer, as Obama was. But Garcia is challenging incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff. Political observers say the president had no choice but to back Emanuel’s re-election bid.
“Anyone who knows anything about Obama’s earlier career in Chicago politics knows that were he not president, he would be supporting Chuy,” said Jeremy Mayer, an associate professor at the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. “If you look at Obama’s record as a progressive, he was not part of the Rahm Emanuel wing of the Democratic Party. If you look at the kind of profile Obama had as a state legislator in the Chicago universe, he was far to the left of where Rahm Emanuel is. He was not someone who is tight with big money the way Rahm Emanuel and Wall Street got along.”
But Obama was bound by allegiance to back Emanuel for a second term: “A president who doesn’t do whatever he can, who doesn’t help whoever’s loyal to him is breaking a rule in American politics,” Mayer said.