The press corps. You know, the ones who should be on top of this stuff. As I told one guy online, Isn't it sad when a guy who draws mermaids is more on top of politics than the people who went to college and made this their careers for the past thirty some years?
One of my coworkers said she wasn't surprised I hate Daley. Not because of how he did things, but because "You hate everybody!" (I beg to differ with that assessment. I don't see myself as hating everybody. I see myself as not compromising my standards and willing to live with the consequences.)
That said, all the newspapers are jumping on the bandwagon, reporting on what this means for Chicago. Carol Marin, in particular. I usually have a lot more respect for her as a journalist. But her column this morning was almost a puff piece. Disappointing, but then again, she works for the Sun Times, and they sign the checks.
When Daley became mayor, the Sun Times had their printing press in his metaphoric backyard. The Sun Times became notorious for spinning Daley the way he wanted, so much so that smartasses like me referred to it as the Chicago Daley's News (in fact, we sometimes called it "Pravda"). The Iraqi Information Minister didn't work so hard to cast government officials in a positive light. The Sun Times backed away after a while, relatively recently, but would still come up with articles that would have you wondering who was in charge there. Every columnist in there today sang the praises of Boss Jr. to the point where you expected him to be assumed bodily into Heaven. For example, they talked about how Daley's educational reforms were so successful, other cities started copying it. Wrong bongos, dipshits. Those educational reforms were the work of Paul Vallas. Vallas was running for the D nomination for governor, and was doing fine in the polls. Then, one of Daley's buddies jumped in, making it a three way race and splitting the vote, enabling Rod Blago to get the nomination.
The crosstown rivals, the Tribune, weren't as nice, but nowhere near as angry as they had the right to be. John Kass, Mike Royko's spiritual successor, led the case against, but aside from Mary Schmich, everyone commenting pussed out. To steal a phrase from the legendary Tom Tomorrow, had Al Capone died today, the papers would downplay the gangster thing and talk about what a great marksman he was.
So, what does this mean for the land of tribal politics? There are three big voting blocks, the whites, the blacks, and the Hispanics. Each is going to find one of their own and put them out there. Daley did such a good job making the demographics isolate themselves, it'll be a bloody three-way race that will leave a lot of angry people. Rahm Emmanuel has no shot. Period. He has money, but the policies he's helped Obama with will cook his goose. He's great at mobilizing support, so I expect him, if he doesn't run, to try and be a kingmaker, but if he gets the nomination, he'll never win. He'll have to decide quick -- he needs 12,500 signatures on a petition by Nov 22, right when Obama will need him most in the aftermath of an expected devestating midterm election.
Please, oh please, Luis Gutierrez, please run. Chicago needs you. If Gutierrez opts not to, another I would love to see run is Patrick Collins. He's a classic Chicago Irishman and a former federal prosecutor. He's like a clone of Patrick Fitzgerald, and in fact, has a lot of friends in the federal building. The bipartisan Combine running the state would just shit.
The smart money to announce his candidacy is on 14th ward alderman Ed Burke, who Daley squashed like a grape in 1989. He's gone along with Daley, so with the boss gone, what will he do? Too many insiders are ignoring him. He could be formidable. The most whispered name is Tom Dart, whose dad is a Daley confidant. The D's tried recruiting him for senator and governor, but he turned them down. He knows what he wants, and him declaring his candidacy is a no-brainer, sure to reverberate well with Dick Mell and Mike Madigan. (Madigan is not going to convince his daugher, AG Lisa Madigan, run. He can't control her, so he'll easily lean towards Dart.) Terry Peterson is another from Daley's inner circle expected to toss his hat in the ring. Problem: the police are angry with Daley, so too close an association will be a problem (with fewer cops and the city on the verge of bankruptcy, I'm expecting this shortage of cops to help Brady's campaign for governor. All he has to do is tout his platform about licensed conceal carry and people will start listening big time. The unions are also mad.)
February is literally up for grabs. Chicago hasn't had an election without an incumbent since 1947. The Chinese have a curse -- "May you live in interesting times."
Welcome to interesting times. Hope we survive the trip.