Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday that Democrats expecting to win in the 2018 mid-term elections should adjust their expectations and "take a chill pill."
Speaking to an audience at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in California, Emanuel, onetime chief of staff for former President Barack Obama, commented on the future of the Democratic Party. "It took us a long time to get this low. It ain't gonna happen in 2018," he said bluntly.
"Take a chill pill, man. You gotta be in this for the long haul," Emanuel added. "And if you think it's going to be a quick turnaround, it's not."
Emanuel expanded on what he believes are his party's downfalls, saying that Democrats care more about being right than winning elections.
"Winning's everything," he told the audience. "If you don't win, you can't make the public policy. I say that because it is hard for people in our party to accept that principle. Sometimes, you've just got to win, OK? Our party likes to be right, even if they lose."
He added that he thought Democrats should focus on highlighting and capitalizing on the disagreements currently happening within the Republican Party. "Wherever there's a disagreement among Republicans, I'm for one of those disagreements," he said. "I'm all for it. The president's with Russia? I'm with John McCain and Lindsey Graham, I'm for NATO! Why? [It's a] wedge. Wedges have to be schisms, schisms have to be divides."
Though he hopes Democrats bring up a solid group of candidates to challenge Republicans in 2020, he did have some consolation advice for his party if they couldn't manage to get their acts together by that time. "If you lose, you can write the book about what happened — great, that's really exciting!" he said tongue-in-cheek.