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A thankful Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented himself to bleary-eyed South Side commuters today, embodying the humble, sweater-wearing politician who told voters in television ads that sometimes he rubs people the wrong way.
“We have a lot of work to go, and a lot of work to do going forward,” Emanuel told reporters at an early childhood learning center on the West Side. “But I do believe doing it together, we are going to get where we need to go as one, as a city, a lot faster.”
Even if voters like the mayor’s softer presentation, they may not appreciate his choices in the new term. The financial crisis means that Emanuel will have to work to raise taxes and cut spending, said Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a Chicago-based research group that tracks government spending.
“Whatever patience the re-elected mayor has will be severely tried by the fiscal challenges confronting both the city and the Chicago public-school system,” Martire said. “People, meaning voters and taxpayers, need to hear what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.”