From "Hizzhonor" to Dishonor - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article discussed Chicago politics under father and son Daley - Richard J. (mayor from April 20, 1955 - December 20, 1976) and Richard M. (mayor since April 24, 1989), both called "Hizzhonor" or "Hizzhonor Da Mare."
Last winning a sixth term on February 27, 2007 by a 70% majority, most observers expected he'd seek another in 2011, but not so. The Chicago Tribune, on September 7, announced it, headlining, "Daley won't run for re-election: 'I have done my best,' saying:
"Mayor Richard Daley says he will not run for re-election in 2011," saying it's:
"time for me, it's time for Chicago to move on. The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months. In the end, this is a personal decision, no more, no less. I have always known that people want you to work hard for them. Clearly, they won't agree always with you. Obviously, they don't like it when you make a mistake. But at all times, they expect you to lead, to make difficult decisions, rooted in what's right for them."
For 21 years, that's what I've tried to do. But today, I am announcing that I will not seek a 7th term as mayor of the city of Chicago."
One reason may be his wife's health, battling breast cancer since 2002 as well as recovering from leg surgery, damaged by cancer and radiation treatment.
His popularity is also at issue, summer polls showing over half of Chicago voters saying they don't want him back:
-- 37% approve of his job as mayor;
-- 47% disapprove; and
-- a record low 31% want him re-elected compared to 53% who don't.
Besides crime, corruption, and other issues, the weak economy is key. It forced budget cuts, staff reductions, mass teacher layoffs, and a record $655 million budget shortfall, a combination leaving all city politicians vulnerable and defensive. At least half a dozen aldermen won't run again, voter dissatisfaction affecting them like Daley.
In early 2010, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel expressed interest in the job, though never by challenging the incumbent, whom he served as strategist and fundraiser in his first campaign. He's now unencumbered, the UK Telegraph's Alex Spillius headlining on June 20, "Rahm Emanuel expected to quit White House," saying:
At issue are policy and style differences as well as burnout from the pressure of "one of the most high profile jobs in US politics," a leading Democrat consultant saying:
"Nobody thinks it's working but they can't get rid of him - that would look awful. He needs the right sort of job to go to but the consensus is he'll go."
Another insider expects he'll announce it after the November midterm elections that look grim for Democrats. "It is well known in Washington" that Emanuel often clashes with other administration officials, his abrasive style "rubb(ing) some people the wrong way," while struggling to smooth Obama's legislative program through Congress. "Every vote has been tough, from health care to energy to financial reform," and some have been stalled.