The first question isn’t: Can Rahm win? It’s: Can Rahm run?

Illinois municipal code requires that to run for mayor of a town in Illinois, "You must be a registered voter, and you must have resided there for one year prior to the election,"

By Abdon M. Pallasch | Chicago Sun-times

Sunday, Rahm Emanuel announced in a video posted on a website that he is preparing to run for mayor of Chicago. But two of Chicago’s top election lawyers say the state’s municipal code is crystal clear that a candidate for mayor must reside in the town for a year before the election.

That doesn’t mean they must simply own a home in the city that they rent out to someone else. They must have a place they can walk into, keep a toothbrush, hang up their jacket and occasionally sleep, the lawyers say. Another three election lawyers say Emanuel could be thrown off the ballot on a residency challenge.

None says Emanuel will have it easy.

Today, Emanuel launches his “listening tour” of Chicago neighborhoods — taking his message and open ears, he says, to Chicago’s “grocery stores, L stops, bowling alleys and hot dog stands.” Though he was widely expected to run, Sunday’s video was his first statement of his intentions since Mayor Daley announced he would not seek another term. Friday, Emanuel left Washington and his job as White House chief of staff. Ironically, President Obama would have no problem coming back to Chicago to run for mayor because he never rented out his home and has come back to stay there on rare occasions.

Rahm Emanuel’s “Glad to be Home” Video, but is he really “home” ?

An Emanuel spokeswoman, Lori Goldberg, confirms that the video itself was actually filmed in Washington, D.C., in the offices of AKPD Message and Media, the firm founded by David Axelrod.

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