I happened to be with a group of individuals this week who are amongst those who think that Lori Lightfoot and her mayoral campaign are the city’s saviors – the new vision that is meant to save the very soul of Chicago.
In fact, much of that conversation centered around the mayoral candidates “Lightfoot” and “Bigfoot.” Which is the snarky name they’ve developed for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s mayoral aspirations.
THEY’RE SO EAGER to trash the years of experience that Preckwinkle has gained through her service as an alderman (the Hyde Park neighborhood) and as the county board president.
You certainly can’t say or do anything that implies Preckwinkle might actually have a clue about the causes of the city’s problems, and that Lightfoot might not actually be ready to take on the role of occupant of the fifth floor office suite at City Hall.
Otherwise known as da mare’s office.
They get rather touchy if anyone dare suggests anything negative about the one-time federal prosecutor and member of the board that oversaw investigations into police misconduct.
PERSONALLY, I WONDER if Lightfoot is the enforcement type who might be best suited to the role of inspector general – doing the investigations into incidents where things get screwed up and making suggestions as to what ought to be done to resolve them.
While “Bigfoot,” which was meant to be a derogatory slur referring to the six-foot politico whom some in government circles have used the phrase “Tower of Blunt” to refer to.
Although I’m wondering if this is a phrase whose meaning ought to be turned upside down – as in Toni is the experienced one who ought to be the municipal boss while Lori might just be too touchy and sensitive to handle the post.
I couldn’t help but think such unpleasant thoughts when I learned Thursday of the tiff taking place between Lightfoot and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
IT SEEMS THAT White has endorsed Preckwinkle’s mayoral bid, saying, “We need someone who’s going to run the city of Chicago who has experience.”
Which led Lightfoot to lambaste White as some form of political hack, saying, “Toni Preckwinkle is the epitome of those entrenched political interests, so it’s not surprising to me that she is seeking people who she has worked with for decades.”
That caused White on Thursday to retort, “Lori Lightfoot seems to feel like she has to attack everyone who disagrees with her. That’s no way to get things done and that’s not what Chicagoans expect in their elected officials.”
While Preckwinkle herself felt compelled to call Lightfoot’s comments about White, “disgusting,” while saying Lightfoot is “point(ing) fingers and attack(ing) her critics.
I’M SURE THE core of Lightfoot supporters are upset that Preckwinkle would say something so nasty. They may be going about as we speak claiming this is more evidence that Toni is a political hack who needs to be replaced – forgetting that the worst thing that happens to her in the April 2 run-off is that she remains as county board president AND Cook County Democratic chairwoman. She ain’t going nowhere.
But this kind of behavior does make me wonder – not so much about Lightfoot (who on paper isn’t all that different on the issues from Preckwinkle). But about the Lightfoot backers; who may have created an image of her in their heads that Lori can’t help but fall far short of!
Is there a legitimate reason that Preckwinkle went into this election cycle as the pre-emptive favorite amongst the mayoral candidates? Should we really be quick to dismiss her for the favorite of the segment of the electorate who seems to want to vote for the political “flavor of the month?”
Could it be that if Preckwinkle truly is “Bigfoot,” that she is taking on as her opponent Lori “Lightweight?” Lightweight and Bigfoot – the very thought of all the nasty rhetoric those nicknames will inspire is enough to make me shudder about the upcoming month of an election cycle we will have to endure.