Rahm Emanuel’s Ohio Problem

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, gestures after speaking at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel  may have a problem with Ohio.

While President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff says he’s not formally floating the idea of overhauling presidential elections, he notes that the only way to break free of swing-state dominance over the process is to rethink the Electoral College.

“You are really down to a few states that determine a presidential election, and in those states the campaigns are being run like they are turbocharged gubernatorial races,” Emanuel told a futures industry conference in Chicago yesterday.

Emanuel, a former Democratic congressman from Illinois, says 20 years ago he never would have fathomed a presidential campaign laser-focused on get-out -the-vote efforts.

“That may be true for running for Congress, that may be true running for mayor, it may be true even in a gubernatorial or Senate races, but the idea that in a presidential race a get-out-the-vote operation would be so essential to the outcome you could not have imagined,” he said. “It speaks at lot about politics.”

“If you want to in the future get to a more diverse election than Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, Colorado, you are going to have to look at some revisions which deals with the Electoral College,” Emanuel said. “But we are one week away and you ain’t going to do anything between now and then. It’s a bigger discussion we have to have as a country.”

Still, Emanuel — who predicts a close election — says the country faces bigger issues.

“Of all the issues you have to handle,” he said, “job creation, American competitiveness is a priority.”



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