CHICAGO (CBS) — On the eve of his inauguration, the seemingly laser-focused, supremely confident Rahm Emanuel conceded he has entertained some doubt about the future.
A fleeting doubt, that is.
“Sure, but what gives me confidence is the energy of the public, their excitement, their interest, their determination,” Emanuel told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.
Levine sat down to talk with Emanuel the morning his parents were featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. The article featured pictures of them as children and their thoughts about what Monday’s inauguration would mean to them.
Emanuel became choked up as he talked about how his family’s immigrant origins have led to his taking office as mayor on Monday.
“Well, it’s hard not to hold back tears,” he said.
And it could happen again Monday.
Emotion and uncertainty are not words usually associated with the hard-charging mayor-elect. We saw both.
“That’s the motivation, that’s what drives you,” Emanuel said.
For guidance, he said he’ll not only turn to those department heads he’s appointed, but also other longtime friends and advisers, such as former White House strategist David Axelrod and Bill Daley, brother of Mayor Richard Daley, who took over his job as chief of staff to President Obama.
“There’s also people in the faith community, when I talk about things that are important to our city in the sense of healing. I’ll also seek their counsel,” he said.
The inauguration theme, “Chicago Together,” is also reflected in his choice to administer the oath of office: Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans, the first African American to hold the post.
Emanuel’s goal, he says, is simple.
“My job is to make sure the voices, the eyes, the experiences and the stories I heard never get lost in the fifth-floor (of City Hall), that they’re the motivating factor for what I do,” he said. “It may be a bridge too far to me, but I know this: I’m gonna try like the dickens to do it.”
None of it, he cautions, will happen overnight.