No doubt you, too, spent the holidays relishing the humiliation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the overrated and obnoxious Democratic Party hack who, finally, is teetering on the brink of political oblivion. How the former ballet dancer and Sarah Lawrence alumnus parlayed ambition and drive and the ability to scream like a lunatic into high office and a fortune of more than $10 million is one of the remarkable political stories of our time. “Emanuel has succeeded in almost every professional endeavor he has undertaken,” Ryan Lizza wrote approvingly in 2009. Spoke too soon.
The critic James Wolcott is peeved. “Mitt Romney’s fateful decision this January not to pursue the presidency for a third futile time deprives those of us in the bleachers of a rare-ish opportunity to watch a representative of the 1 percent in plastic action,” he writes in Vanity Fair’s April “special issue” on “the age of money.” There are few chances, Wolcott avers, to observe in public a member of the financial and social caste that rules America. “It is not often we get to study how a scion moves, behaves, and simulates reflective thought under changeable conditions.”