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The Countdown: Carol The 'Wimp'.. Rahm To The Rescue?

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COUNTDOWN

The blizzard may shut down schools, airports and courthouses--but it will not stop campaign season in Chicago! Just 21 days remain until the city elections, do you know who you're voting for?

Stay tuned to HuffPost Chicago from now until February 22 for "The Countdown," a daily roundup of election news, gossip and other fun tidbits. You can also sign up to receive "The Countdown" via email daily by checking the "Chicago Brief" box here.

CAROL THE WIMP

Two days after accusing an opponent of being "strung out on crack," Carol Moseley Braun made a public apology to mayoral candidate Patricia Watkins. No one (including us) expected the apology, and even now we are guessing she was pressured by others to make it in the first place.

Why the skepticism? Well, a few reasons. First, Braun started her "apology" by calling out Watkins again. "Patricia Watkins said she does not expect an apology from me," Braun said. "She is wrong."

You show her, Carol! Look whose apologizing now!

Then, there was her Monday night appearance on Fox Chicago.

"Its difficult for a woman ever to respond to an assault or attack without coming across as shrill or a wimp," Braun said, trying to explain the outburst to Anchor Robin Robinson. "It's a fine line to walk. Had I not done anything in response to what was a clear attack on me ... I might have been accused of being a wimp and not rising to defend myself in that situation."

Robinson pressed Braun further on the issue, asking if she regretted making the "crack" remark.

"It was the truth, wasn't it?" Braun said. "I only tell the truth." (It wasn't the truth, according to Watkins.)

She went on to bring up Rahm Emanuel's notorious dead fish-mailing incident. Unprovoked, of course. Robinson pointed out that she, not Emanuel, has had outbursts in recent weeks. The point was lost on Braun. We are feeling pretty bad for her campaign staffers right about now, and also wondering (along with The Hill) if Carol Moseley Braun the most inept candidate ever. (Hat tip to the always awesome Capitol Fax blog.)

WATCH the rather painful interview here:

Carol Moseley Braun Addresses Crack Comment Controversy: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

RAHM TO THE RESCUE?

We had this exact thought a few hours after Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair, apparently. Imagine being trapped in a snowy house, or in a fender-bender in the white-out or something... and along comes Rahm Emanuel, shovel in hand, tow-cables at the ready, with a thermos of Hot Toddies and an off-color joke to lighten the mood. Wouldn't that be something?

Weiner takes a semi-serious look at this idea:

While current mayor Richard Daley is free to, say, forgo the freeze in favor of a baronial beachside estate in Bermuda, his likely successor, Rahm Emanuel, should take his cues from Cory Booker.

Emanuel, though not yet in charge of any city-owned snowplows, is still capable of shoveling out cars, extracting stranded citizens from snowbanks, and making note of his ascetic breakfast ("Advil and Diet Coke") using Twitter. Besides, there's nothing like a mastery of the elements to prove one's Chicago authenticity.

Indeed there isn't, Juli. Unless that Hot Toddy is made with Jeppson's Malort.

THE PRESIDENT COMES TO LOGAN SQUARE

No, not that President. Don't get all excited on us now. Newly elected Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is coming to hotter-than-hot gastro-inn Longman and Eagle on Thursday for a swanky fundraiser with 35th Ward Alderman Rey Colón. While the former is riding a wave of popularity to rain some fire on the county's budget, the latter is fighting off a challenge from upstart Miguel Sotomayor in February's citywide elections.

L&E's never been all that cheap, but this night is going to make a bigger-than-usual dent in your wallet. You can be a "co-chair" for $2,500 or a "sponsor" for $1,500, there are various levels of "host," and a regular old ticket is "suggested" at $125.

The event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on the 3rd. Find out more at the alderman's website. You may even see Emanuel there--he's been spotted there several times, and somehow avoids the dreaded two hour wait for a table. Hmm...

BALLOT HISTORY

Remember when an appellate court kicked Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for a few days? Seems like ancient history with the crazy news cycle we've been having. Anyway, the Chicago Board of Elections printed about 300,000 Rahm-free ballots before the state Supreme Court made them stop.

The ballots are now "under lock and key" according to the Associated Press. The board does not know what to do with them next, but they might end up in the Chicago History Museum some day, where kids on a field trip can learn about this totally weird campaign season.

TWEETS OF THE DAY

@RahmEmanuel (the real deal) to Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker: "I'll show you who's 'shovel ready.'

@ProfessorPickle: The candidate I am voting for @DelValle4Mayor shovels his own snow & still finds time to attend all mayoral forums

@DavidAxelrod: @GoGastronomy tnx, Daphne. They've even arranged a Welcome Home blizzard for me!

@TedMcClelland: All the mayoral candidates will be out with shovels, digging for votes. #snowpocalypse

If you have any juicy gossip about the Chicago elections, or a story you think we should see, send us an email at chicago@huffingtonpost.com.

Around the Web

Clout St: Supreme Court: Emanuel on Chicago mayor ballot

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Obama aide Emanuel to run for Chicago mayor | Reuters