Daley calls it a day as Chicago looks to future
Published 09/09/2010 | 05:00
NO Daley in City Hall? It sounds about as likely as waking up one morning to find they had drained Lake Michigan. To the astonishment of nearly everyone, Richard M Daley has announced that he will not be running for re-election as Mayor of Chicago next year.
No other mayor in America comes close in terms of political stature -- not even Michael Bloomberg of New York. Daley's decision also fires the starting pistol for Democratic Chicagoans, who hitherto have barely dared even dream of competing for the city's top political post. Among those thinking of joining the sprint is White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
It was assumed that Daley would run again to keep the job he has occupied with relentless -- some would say bullying -- passion since being elected for the first time in 1989. (His team of political advisors included both Emanuel and David Axelrod, now chief advisor to President Barack Obama). And it was assumed that he would win. Removing him would be "akin to dethroning a king", Obama biographer David Mendell told 'The New Yorker'.