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The Worst Thing Ever


Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis was all geared up to run for mayor against the odious Rahm Emanuel. She had a huge lead in the polls and it could have been an amazing victory. Unfortunately, pretty much the worst thing possible has happened:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who just pulled out of mayoral contention, is suffering from a cancerous brain tumor that was diagnosed shortly after she experienced a severe headache on Oct. 5.

As a result, Lewis underwent a five-hour surgery at Northwestern Hospital, where she is scheduled to undergo a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. The tumor had nothing to do with her weight loss surgery in Mexico.

Lewis has wanted Mayor Rahm Emanuel gone practically since he took office, but she will not be the one to unseat him in February, the head of her mayoral exploratory committee said Monday.

The feisty 61-year-old CTU leader will not run for mayor, Jay Travis, he head of her mayoral exploratory committee said in a statement Monday.

I just have no words.

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  • Sly

    Yeah, that’s pretty sad. I’m generally skeptical of people going from activism/organizing into political office, but anyone who can shake up what was an utterly anemic* CTU in the limited time that Karen Lewis and CORE did, and deal with the blowback with a smile on her face, is a force to be reckoned with. CORE literally started with eight people and a year and a half later they were running the largest local in the state, the third largest teachers’ union in the country, and hitting back hard at the mayoralty.

    * Before Lewis took it over, CTU had no idea how to represent its members. Example: When Daley’s Renaissance 2010 plan was going through – a plan to close schools in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods and turn them over to for-profit charters under a set of rules that would circumvent the charter cap – members who worked in the targeted schools asked the leadership what they planned on doing about it and all they told them was, “We’ll help you write resumes.”

    • I too share that skepticism, but this was the perfect situation. A great union leader whose enemy and the person threatening her union is the mayor.

  • hidflect

    Rahm must be dancing round his coffee table clapping his hands over his head.

    • Ahuitzotl

      sending bouquets of iron roses to his Lord and Master, more like :(

  • kayden

    Sad. If Rahm is that bad someone else should step up to the plate.

    • There is another candidate but I know nothing about him.

    • DocAmazing

      Rahm is very, very well-funded and has lots of Party support. Anyone coming in at this point is at a nigh-unimaginable disadvantage.

  • Steve LaBonne

    I wish Lewis a full and speedy recovery. If Harold Washington dropping dead just as he was hitting his stride wasn’t enough to turn a lot of Chicagoans into atheists…

  • witlesschum

    That just sucks, for her and for Chicago. Having Rahm get crushed by one of the targets of his reign of profit-motivated dipshittery would have been the best possible thing. Who else does CORE have?

  • Murc

    Damn. Rahm must have gotten an incredible deal when he sold his soul. Say what you will about the Devil, but he gives value for money.

  • postmodulator

    There are people here who have read theology, history of theology, right? Is there any historical precedent or intellectual framework for the belief that God doesn’t exist, but Satan does?

    • Malaclypse

      It all makes sense when you realize that what you think of as “God” is Azathoth.

    • Jordan

      Noted theology site tvtropes has you covered.

    • deptfordx

      Human history?

  • nocomment

    and Dick Cheney’s mechanical heart continues on…

  • Deggjr

    I don’t either; my impression is that he exists to split the anti-Rahm vote.

  • TribalistMeathead

    When they were being vague about the health conditions under which she was being forced to drop out suddenly, I figured she was being blackmailed by someone.

    • witlesschum

      That must be the source of the random-seeming reference to weight-loss surgery?

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  • NobodySpecial

    Dunno what everyone’s complaining about, Rahm is the perfect Democrat for the times. He proved that when he proved Howard Dean wrong oh so long ago about his disastrous 50 state strategy, and he did yeoman’s work keeping the lefties corralled during the health care debate. Why ya’ll hacking on him now?

    • TribalistMeathead

      My favorite Balloon Juice tag is “Can you show me on the dolly where Rahm touched you?”

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    In addition to Harold Washington’s untimely demise, this reminds me of Labour Party leader John Smith’s sudden death in 1994, which doomed Britain to a choice between the Tweedledee of Blairism and the Tweedledum of (neo-)Thatcherism, then and for the foreseeable future.

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