Last Sunday, I attended a candidate forum with those seeking to replace Cong. Jesse Jackson, Jr. at Reverend Wright’s former church (he’s still Pastor Emeritus), Trinity United Church of Christ. 22 candidates have filed to replace the mentally ill congressman, 17 Democrats and 5 Republicans. The candidates Sunday were placed at a long table and even had to wrap around the edges in order to be accommodated.

How, in the city of Chicago where the Democrat Machine is so strong, could there be 17 Democrat candidates vying for one open seat? It could hardly be imagined under the iron rule of former Mayor Daley.

The candidates run the gamut from completely clueless, yet dangerous in their ignorance, to practiced Chicago pols like Alderman Beale and Robin Kelly, who worked for the anti-gun maven of Chicago Toni Preckwinkle.

Former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson made the biggest news of the night when she was alone except for Republican Candidate Paul McKinley, the only Republican of the five who showed up for the debate, in refusing to support a ban on the semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle. Read more about how Halvorson’s gun move might shake up the race for the Democrat nomination.

The Democrat voters of this district certainly are given a plethora of choices, and that is a win for them, but is cannot be a win for the man whom Paul McKinley refers to as “Rahm Caligulus Emanuel.”

Perhaps Rahm has been distracted by fighting the PR battle over a massive 2012 murder total of 506, the highest January totals (42 as of last count) since 2002, questions of the “code of silence” amongst police officers, capitulation to a Chicago Teachers Union/International Socialists Organization show of strength, a Supreme Court smackdown on Chicago’s strict gun ban, and having to reconcile all that with a crumbling Illinois economy.