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Emanuel Attends Fund-Raiser To Help Retire Rival’s Debt

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Rahm Emanuel (left); Carol Moseley Braun (CBS)

Rahm Emanuel (left); Carol Moseley Braun (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Guess who’s coming to dinner—or, at least cocktails?

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel will join Carol Moseley Braun as she holds a fundraiser to pay off her campaign debt on Thursday night.

It’s interesting because Emanuel was the target of Braun’s harshest criticism and toughest rhetoric during the recent campaign—in an unsuccessful attempt to try to get under the skin of the notoriously hot-tempered Emanuel.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, the meeting between the two former rivals isn’t that surprising.

Illinois Democrats usually kiss and make up once the campaign ends, though this one was pretty rough.

However, the mayor-elect’s commitment to attend Braun’s debt retirement event was a signal to those who support him that it was OK for them to help out, too. The gesture comes despite a campaign where Braun was on the attack from start to finish.

Still Emanuel is the only one of her major opponents who agreed to show up tonight for an event that suggests contributions of $500 or $1,000.

Another mayoral candidate, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, who was the target of a bizarre drug use attack by Moseley Braun, called the suggested contributions unbelievable. During the campaign, Moseley Braun said Watkins had spent past years “strung out on crack.” Braun, according to Van Pelt Watkins, never apologized.

“I wouldn’t consider at all asking him to pay my debt,” said Van Pelt Watkins. “Had he asked me to pay my debt, I would consider it, but I would never ask him.”

Another mayoral rival, Gery Chico, told CBS 2 he’s “out of town for Easter” and “doesn’t know if he’ll contribute.”

Former candidate Miguel Del Valle says he “has a conflict” and will not contribute.

As for Van Pelt Watkins, she said she wasn’t invited. But, if asked she said she might offer a smaller amount.

Braun has always had campaign finance problems.

In 2008, she reportedly cut a deal with the Democratic National Committee to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for dropping out of the primary race which included Barack Obama.

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