Dec 8, 2019

Rahm Emanuel riffs on Ukraine, 2020 candidates at Gridiron dinner

Mike Allen
The mayor laughing.
As Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel laughs at one of his own jokes during a 2015 news conference. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images.

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel brought down the house at last night's Gridiron Club winter dinner, hitting hard on the Trump administration and 2020.

Some excerpts: "I want to welcome all the distinguished members of the press, elected officials and members of the Deep State."

  • "Here we are on December 7 — the day the president reminds us that Ukraine bombed Pearl Harbor."
  • "To me, Chicago is a lot like the White House: Both have a large, vibrant Russian community."

And Emanuel on 2020:

  • "I just turned 60. Which is really an awkward age — 30 years too old to be a wunderkind, and 20 years too young to be running for president."
  • "You know what Mike Bloomberg calls Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang? The working poor."
  • "My old boss President Obama isn’t here. He’s busy with his huge, huge Netflix deal. The problem with Netflix is no one really knows the numbers. They change constantly and never really get revealed. It’s like Medicare for All."

The bottom line: Turning serious, Emanuel concluded: "And even though more than half of the reporters in this room have been on the other end of one of my profanity-laced tirades, I am proud and honored to stand with you on behalf of the free press."

  • "And anyone who wants to destroy that precious freedom — well, as we like to say in Chicago, they can go f--- themselves."

Go deeper: Biden says Medicare for All is not where the Democratic Party is

Go deeper