Rahm Emanuel Offers Up to $5,000 to Charity for Twitter Impersonator to Come Clean

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel accepts the endorsement of Teamsters Joint Council 25 Jan. 25, 2011, in Chicago.
AP Photo
CBS

As the saying goes, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. If that's the case, Rahm Emanuel just needs to know whom to thank for all the flattery on Twitter.

Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff and the current frontrunner in the Chicago mayoral race, said on a Chicago radio show yesterday that he'll make a charitable donation of up to $5,000 if the person imitating him on the social networking site reveals their identity.

"Here's what I'm gonna do," Emanuel said on the Roe and Roeper show on WLS Radio. "After the election, I am offering a donation to the charity of that gentleman or woman's choice, if they would come forward and identify themselves," Emanuel said.

Emanuel's imitator goes by the Twitter handle @MayorEmanuel and has attracted more than 27,000 followers. The fake Emanuel shoots off numerous "tweets" a day that make fun of Emanuel's reputation for having a foul mouth and aggressive personality. They often allude to the real Emanuel's goings on as a political candidate.

"Driving around these wards would be a whole lot f**king less boring if the godd**n radio in Axelrod's Civic wasn't busted," reads one tweet from Tuesday.

On WLS on Tuesday, Emanuel acknowledged his imitator's popularity online. "Are you kidding?" he said. "This guy or gal, whoever writes, has garnered a huge following and a lot of people say, 'I just read your tweet,' and I go 'what?'"

Emanuel has his own, authentic Twitter account and goes by the handle

@RahmEmanuel. His Twitter account, however, only has about 7,600 followers.