EDITORIAL: Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s third term?

The Chicago machine finds a likely replacement for the president

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President Obama has given a few constitutional law lectures, and he fancies himself an expert on the subject.

Yet he shows the Founding document little respect (or, as he recently spelled it, “R-S-P-E-C-T”). He rewrites his Obamacare law without bothering with any of the inconvenient procedures prescribed in Article 1.

His “executive actions” and Justice Department harassment of journalists who ask tough questions threatens the First Amendment, and rampant executive snooping eviscerates the Fourth.

It’s a fair question to ask whether he intends to honor the 22nd, which limits presidents to two terms.

Our Jennifer Harper reports that Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago has his eye on returning to the White House, this time as commander in chief, not merely chief of staff. This presumes His Honor would wait to see whether Mr. Obama tries an end-run around the Constitution.

Mr. Emanuel would give the Obama policies, if not the man himself, a third term. Mr. Obama would take a luxury retirement in Hawaii. You might think 2016 is a long way off, but it isn’t, and this administration runs a perpetual campaign. Decisions must be made soon.

Mr. Emanuel’s credentials — as a “political operative” — are solid enough. The mayor is no garden-variety burgomaster. The mayor in charge of the Chicago machine is far more important in Illinois than a mere governor. Illinois governors often end their careers in prison; mayors usually don’t.

Four of the last seven governors were arrested for various corruptions. Early in his career, Mr. Emanuel was Mayor Richard M. Daley’s chief fundraiser, and Mr. Daley reciprocated with the keys to the office.

Mr. Emanuel was not actually a resident of Chicago, but never mind technicalities. The Illinois Supreme Court fixed that. The distinguished jurists asserted that eligibility depends on what the definition of what “actual resident” is.

The only precedent for such judicial malarkey, good enough in Illinois, apparently was Bill Clinton’s famous excuse for mischief, that “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

Mr. Obama, no doubt, would enjoy the second toppling of Hillary Clinton at the hands of the Chicago machine. After Hillary’s personal and bitter attacks on him in 2008, the president probably prefers anybody but Hillary.

Who could blame him? But after Hillary, who and what? Joe Biden is everybody’s crazy uncle, but it’s been a tough four years keeping him mostly out of sight and earshot. Only the late-night comics want Joe to stay in the White House.

Mr. Emanuel checks all the boxes a far-left candidate needs to please Democrats. He likes abortion and doesn’t like guns. He’s OK with same-sex marriage and has never seen a tax increase he wouldn’t embrace.

In Chicago, he’s socking it to everybody in sight, even dispatching new regiments of meter maids to collect higher towing fees and bigger parking fines.

He plans to expand the world’s largest red-light camera program with new speed cameras that he expects to rake in $70 million a year. He picked Xerox to run the revenue cameras. This is the company that got caught issuing speeding tickets to parked cars in Baltimore.

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