This morning, I was catching a train at the Clinton green line stop when I go through the turnstiles to see a phalanx of reporters and cameramen gathered before a podium with the Chicago seal affixed upon it. Turns out Rahm Emanuel was due for a press conference on the L’s newly installed security cameras.
I waited for a bit to see Mr. Mayor give what probably ended up being a very boring presser, but before he could arrive a CPD officer kicked me out for “security reasons.” (Apparently my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, red beard, and perplexed yet slightly annoyed facial expressions were especially alarming.) I thought about staging my own “Occupy Clinton Station” demonstration, but didn’t feel like getting a mouthful of pepper-spray.
So I headed up to the platform, a bit disappointed I wouldn’t see Mayor F-Bomb himself, only to find yet another herd of journos waiting for Rahmbo’s train to arrive to get some film of him exiting the train-car like us real citizens do. So I stood there awkwardly between the pack of cameras and Emanuel’s exit point, hoping to get into some local news B-roll or at least do a man-on-the-street interview.
Soon enough, Air Force El arrived and out hopped the Mayor. I snapped a few pics before jumping onto the train before the doors shut. Apparently the very sight of an elected official using public transportation, however artificially, is deemed remarkable in Chicago judging by the news coverage. I thought about staying to try for a handshake or a shove from a bodyguard, but even my day had to go on after a brush with the second-most famous Emanuel brother.
And as a sad postscript, of all three big local news outlets, only one (ABC) used a clip from that moment. I wasn’t in it, much to my chagrin. Next time I’ll try to tone down the awkwardly-standing-and-gawking vibe.