BRONZEVILLE — The mayor brushed off the "ups and downs" of politics Wednesday as he comes under increased criticism, but he took no guff over his wardrobe choice at a recent Blackhawks game.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was seen on national TV attending Sunday's Blackhawks playoff game in a front-row seat wearing a chambray shirt over a Hawks T-shirt, was asked Wednesday if he was "in trouble" over recent criticism, which has extended from charges of arrogance to even his fashion sense.
Emanuel was more philosophical on the political "ups and downs," but immediately seized on the "fashion police" criticism of what many called a "denim shirt," saying he had taken his 15-year-old daughter to the game at her request.
"If your daughter at 15 still wants to be seen with you, don't worry about how I'm dressing," Emanuel said. "If she doesn't think that wearing a blue-jean denim shirt's a problem for her, relax, we've got other things to worry about.
"That she wants to be with her dad, and not embarrassed, trust me, you've got other things you can worry about," he added. "Don't worry about me and how I dress at a Blackhawk game because I'm happy to be with my daughter."
The line got applause from a Bronzeville crowd also cheering the announcement of a new Mariano's supermarket in the neighborhood at Wednesday's news conference.
The mayor's low recent poll figures were also dismissed by Aldermen Pat Dowell (3rd) and William Burns (4th), both of whom said critics had spoken louder than others praising Emanuel, for instance for the Mariano's deal.
The mayor said the reason he got into public service was to deal with tough issues like gun control, smoking and education. "There's ups and downs," he said. "So what you do is, you stay true to your principles. You stay true to who you are, and you don't change. You stay committed to making sure that there are results, and you stay true to what you believe in, because the moment you decide that you're gonna blow with the wind, folks are smart and will smell it."