Rahm Emanuel's Fate Rests in the Hands of Two Women

Forget about it−that it that is those burly security guards barring access to that VIP room where Rahm Emanuel sits. He's the one with no secure access.

That's because his fate rests in the hands of two women ensconced there for the foreseeable future. And, they've got their futures (not his) to build.

Those two women would be would-be President Hillary Clinton and already-a-President, Cook County's Toni Preckwinkle.

So, if you're distressed about Chicago's turn for the worse these Rahm-days, not-to-worry. Hillary Clinton and Toni Preckwinkle have now taken charge. That's because the Illinois Democratic primary is fast upon us. And Clinton's and Preckwinkle's Primary decision making will have an enormous impact on Chicago's future.

Consider Clinton's decision-tree.

She has to decide whether to even be seen with Rahm. She has to decide whether to ask Rahm to mobilize his political allies to get out the Primary vote for her. She has to decide whether to ask that other Clinton to call in the Rahm-card. For, after all, it was he who made Rahm Emanuel, and Rahm can still raise money, and Hillary really needs it, what with Bernie Sanders nipping at her heels and all.

Consider Preckwinkle's.

Does Preckwinkle overtly support the mayoral ambitions of those jockeying to replace Rahm, now that she's secured the Cook County Democratic Party's endorsement of her protégé, Kim Foxx? Does she appear at their fundraisers? Does she help those would-be mayors get out the Primary vote, thereby helping them build their future political leverage against Rahm? Does Preckwinkle get seen with these guys and girls at confabs about Chicago's future? (Of which there will be a lot more, as this tale of Rahm's two cities unspools.)

Coincidentally, last week, I saw Preckwinkle at one of those confabs. She walked into the room fashionably late and worked it like a rock star. Yes, she was wearing her unfashionable sensible shoes, but she sure didn't walk-in like a sensible policy wonk. Nope, not hardly: she walked in like the queen maker she has made of herself. She worked out that room as well as I've ever seen anyone do.

Say, Clinton and Preckwinkle get past March victorious (and I'll be glad of it): Clinton for herself, Preckwinkle for Foxx. No victory party just yet. That's because, of course, there is still the November election to deal with. There are still the tens of millions that need to be raised for Clinton's presidential campaign. There are still the (mere) millions needed to make Foxx's case, so that she wins big. There are still the hundreds of thousands of voters to mobilize.

But, girlfriends: not-to-worry: Clinton and Preckwinkle will run this board. That's because they − just like Rahm and the other political men in their sensible shoes (Get it? Shoe choice is irrelevant!) - crave power, not policy, most of all. Ignore those Clinton and Preckwinkle goody-two-shoes, literal and otherwise. Ignore apologetic, old-school, plodding, good-girl political campaigning. It hasn't worked. It's history. (And, I'm glad of it.)

Instead, pay attention to Clinton and Preckwinkle, now getting-it-together in that VIP room, each determining her sensible next steps to win 2016. What is that winning strategy, you ask? Forget about it. No mystery there, either. It's doing everything you have to do. It's powering forward. (Just like Rahm and the other guys would, were they lucky enough to be sitting in these chairs, wearing these shoes.) And, when Clinton and Preckwinkle open that door, Rahm and the other guys will just have to follow, making the best of it they can. (And, I'm glad of it.)

Like Gerry Ferraro, another would-be woman President, said, too long ago: "It's our turn."