For William Daley, the brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and a son of long-ago Mayor Richard J. Daley, is indicating that he now wants to get into the mix of people likely to run for Chicago mayor come the Feb. 26 municipal elections.
NEWS REPORTS INDICATE that Bill Daley likely will kick off his campaigning for City Hall come Monday; wanting to be the guy who replaces Rahm Emanuel – who back in 2011 was the guy who replaced his brother, Rich, at the helm of municipal government.
It seems that Bill thinks Chicago has gone long enough without a “Mayor Daley” in charge.
The trick would be to see whether Chicago voters really are that enamored of the Daley name to send another of the grandchildren of Michael Daley to City Hall – with Michael being the Irish immigrant father of Richard J. Daley – who rose high above his Bridgeport neighborhood roots to become the so-called “legendary” mayor of Chicago.
Of course, legendary is the polite way some people express the idea of tyrannical – as in a political boss who ruled with an iron fist for more than two decades until his death in 1976.
I REMEMBER SOME speculation eight years ago when Rich Daley chose to retire following 23 years in office that even he was realistic to accept the notion that Chicago was tired of the “Mayor Daley” concept and in need of change.
But could eight years of Emanuel and his own strong-arm style of politics have been the key to get many establishment-minded Chicagoans ready to return to the idea of a Daley in charge?
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Could the Sout’ Side politicos be ready to reassert themselves as the ones in charge of Chicago – following eight years of a mayor from the Ravenswood neighborhood?
Not that Bill Daley is a political amateur. He served at the federal level during both the Clinton and Obama presidencies. Albeit, as the lesser of the two presidential chiefs of staff from Chicago that Obama employed. Along with being the campaign manager who desperately tried to get Al Gore elected president in 2000.
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AND HIS MOMENT of “glory” during the Clinton years may have been when he was introduced as the new Commerce secretary – only to pass out unconscious during the introduction ceremony. Officially, the lights were on so intensely that the heat got to him.
My point is that both of these posts presented enough moments where Daley critics could find reason to ridicule Bill and to claim that he’s not even at the level of his brother, with neither reaching the stature while in office of their father.
What may actually be more significant is that Bill Daley is the guy who has often talked of wanting to run for political office in the past – most often putting his name out there as a possible governor of Illinois.
Yet Bill Daley has always found reasons to back out of actually running, making some political observers question whether he has what it takes to endure the gristle of an electoral campaign.
THEN AGAIN, BILL Daley in the past always talked about wanting to be governor. Perhaps the desire to run for the top post at City Hall could be what sways him to want to stay in the campaign all the way through Election Day.
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Being “Mayor Daley III” could sound more important to him than that of “Gov. Daley,” even though that always had the potential for a political power punch since it could have resulted in a combination of Mayor Daley (as in Rich) and Gov. Daley (as in Bill), along with brother John Daley deciding to rise up from his Cook County Board seat to run for county board President.
A Daley trifecta, albeit one that would have terrified Illinoisans from outside of Chicago. But to those who would have been enamored by the idea of so many Daleys in charge, the idea of Bill Daley being on the ballot for mayor may be a fantasy come true.
That is, unless you’re willing to wait a generation for 11th Ward Alderman Patrick D. (as in Daley) Thompson, a nephew to both Rich and Bill and grandson to Dick, to make a run for putting the mayoral post back in the Bridgeport neighborhood.