05/14/2011 11:59 pm ET Updated Jul 14, 2011

Richard Daley Moves On, Rahm Emanuel Moves In As Chicago Mayor

On the eve of Mr. Emanuel's inaugural, it is folly to predict his fate. That's especially so given a national economy that a big-city mayor is impotent to fix and, just as relevant, given how environments shape personalities and personalities shape environments.

He has been high profile as a solid North Side congressman, a cannily pragmatic head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a hyperkinetic White House chief of staff. But Mr. Emanuel's image is largely that of a spectral presence -- somebody off in the closed room, in the back, who shaped events for others.