Rahm's Kind of Town

Rahm Emanuel left the white house to run a broke, violence-plagued city, and he's having the time of his life

Photograph by Mark Seliger for TIME

In a one-party town like this one, all great conflicts are intramural. Republicans pose no threat to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he enters the third year of his four-year term, gunning for re-election. It's his fellow Democrats who are scheming to destroy him. Consider Cain and Abel, the Yorks and Lancasters, Michael and Fredo Corleone: family conflict is often the deadliest.

Skirmishing among Chicago Democrats escalated to all-out war after the mayor's handpicked school board voted on May 22 to shutter 50 city public schools. Facing a billion-dollar deficit in the schools budget, Emanuel had good reason to tackle the...