Apparently the editors of Fortune magazine agree with the thousands of Chicagoans who have hit the streets in recent months to rally against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s stewardship over the Windy City.
In one of the magazine’s recent rundowns of politicians and business chiefs, Emanuel made of the list of those who “serve as great examples — of how not to lead.”
The mayor’s handing of the Laquan McDonald shooting, which has led to repeated calls for his ouster, was deemed the “Second Most Breathtakingly Craven Political Move of the Year,” preceded only by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s flip-flop on Donald Trump’s presidential chops after he exited the race for the GOP nomination.
Emanuel’s “abject capitulation” via a series of about-faces on issues involving the McDonald case landed the “bellicose” politician on Fortune’s list of the 19 “most disappointing leaders” in the world:
Emanuel is another politician famous for his bellicose personality who redefined himself through abject capitulation. The Chicago Tribune trenchantly summarized Emanuel’s dramatic 180 in the case of the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white police officer: ‘Emanuel initially characterized white Officer Jason Van Dyke’s decision to shoot black teen McDonald as the actions of one bad cop before later saying his Police Department needed ‘complete and total reform.’ He stood by former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy before firing him. He objected to a Justice Department civil rights investigation before welcoming one. And he fought the release of the shooting video before admitting he was wrong to do so after a judge forced his hand.’
The handling of the case, which has been deemed as a cover up by many who believe the incident and video was buried to prevent blowback against Emanuel during his bid for re-election, has arguably left some careers in shambles in its wake. In addition to McCarthy’s firing, which he recently discussed at a Harvard University talk, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez lost her seat in the Democratic primary election last month to challenger Kim Foxx.
Meanwhile, Emanuel has become a political pariah of sorts, with 2016 candidates either distancing themselves from him, like Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, or going so far as to lambaste him publicly for his “disastrous” management of the city.
“Let me be as clear as I can be, based on his disastrous record as mayor of the city of Chicago, I do not want Mayor Emanuel’s endorsement if I win the Democratic nomination,” Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said last month. “We want the endorsement of people who are fighting for social and racial justice. We do not want the support of people who are indebted to Wall Street and the big money interests.”
Emanuel tried to make amends with his constituents via an emotional apology to the city council in December, but most Chicagoans are having none of it and continue to protest the mayor regularly. With state lawmakers rallying around a proposal to recall Chicago’s mayor and a disapproval rating that has reached an all-time high, it is unclear if Emanuel, who was forced into a runoff last year, will be able to weather the political tsunami that has enveloped him and right the ship of his civic career.
In the meantime, check out the 18 other public leaders Fortune called out for their abysmal managerial moves as well as the 50 people the magazine lauded as the world’s greatest commanders of their respective crafts.