(CBS) – It’s eight months away. There’s no serious challenger. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking no chances.
On Friday, he brought in one of the biggest of political guns. Former President Bill Clinton gave a keynote speech to hundreds of Emanuel supporters at a Near North Side fundraiser at Paris Club Bistro and Bar. It cost $500 to get in and $5,300 to get a photo with the former president.
Earlier, Clinton toured the Metropolitan Family Services Learning and Wellness Center in Englewood with Emanuel.
“It is an honor to have the President back in the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel may need the help from Clinton, for whom he was an adviser.
Political consultant Delmarie Cobb says Mayor Emanuel has already laid the groundwork for a re-election defeat, when it comes to getting votes in the black community.
“School closings is the major issue in the city of Chicago among black voters,” she says.
In response to Cobb’s comment, an Emanuel spokesperson says, for the past three years the mayor has been “confronting a legacy of financial challenges that threatened to cripple the City’s finances, while continuing to make investments in our city’s schools and neighborhoods.”
Meantime, Cobb says a viable Emanuel challenger would be Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
“Toni Preckwinkle is Rahm Emanuel’s worst nightmare,” she says.
Through fundraising efforts, Mayor Emanuel already has nearly $8 million. Preckwinkle, including a fundraiser this week, has $300,000 on hand.
A Super PAC has been formed to help Emanuel raise millions more.
Others who have indicated they will run for mayor include William Kelly; former police officer Frederick Collins; former alderman Robert Shaw and former urban affairs consultant Amara Eniya.