As Emanuel's Momentum in Chicago Mayoral Race Grows, Opponents Play Rough

In the bitter cold of a windy city winter, a warm ray of sunshine has found its way to Rahm Emanuel. Thursday, he beat the residency challenge that briefly took him off the mayoral ballot. Friday, a poll by "We Ask America" shows that he has won the favor of 52 percent of Chicago voters. That 50 percent threshold is key because a clear majority prevents a run off. After February 22nd, he might just be able to move his office furniture into city hall without a second contest.

Opponent Gery Chico is in second place with 14 percent. Former US Senator carol Mosley Braun is in third at 11 percent. City Clerk Miguel del Valle gets 4 percent.

So, Chico is taking the gloves off and highlighting Emanuel's term on the board at Freddie Mac, an appointment he received from President Bill Clinton.Much of the information cited by Chico comes from a 2009 Investigation by the Chicago Tribune. The investigation says Emanuel was "asleep at the-switch board" as the mortgage giant spiraled down into its current mess, that the board was aware of accounting schemes used the inflate profits and that Emanuel profited $320,000 for a 14-month stint that required him to meet no more than six times per year.

"It is a character test and he failed miserably," Chico said. "It says a lot about somebody who is presented with this kind of evidence and does nothing about it. It's corruption."

"I was on a board with 20 other people," Emanuel defended during a televised debate. "...and I wasn't on the audit committee."

Chico is getting some outside help from Clinton insider turned conservative commentator, Dick Morris. He was in Chicago for a speaking engagement but made time to stop and criticize his former colleague.

"The entire financial crisis of the United States was caused by the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to adequately police the loans they were making. And by making loans to people that should not have gotten them and couldn't repay them. And Rahm was there directing the effort on the board of directors with his bonus profiting handsomely from it," said Morris.