Tuesday, March 5, 2019

'Mayor Lori' versus 'Boss Toni' could be awkward pairing for next four years

Preckwinkle won't disappear just because … 
Just a thought for those people who are thinking of voting for Lori Lightfoot to be mayor out of a belief that such an act will drive the political party boss Toni Preckwinkle into retirement.

Not only does she retain her Cook County Board presidential post if she loses, she also remains as chairwoman of the Cook County Democratic Party.
… Lightfoot manages to become mayor

MEANING IF LIGHTFOOT does manage to prevail in the April 2 run-off election, she’d have to deal with Preckwinkle as competition on two fronts. And with “Boss” Toni as party chair, she’d have to be capable of showing some sort of respect toward her.

Unless she literally wants to have the party hacks all ganging up on her mayorality in ways that would be reminiscent of the Harold Washington era. Because for all the symbolism of being the city’s first black mayor, it could be argued that he didn’t accomplish much of lasting value because of how early into a second term he died.

If anything, the Washington era was historic for the way in which the city got bogged down in partisan (as in racial) politics; it wasn’t a big plus for Chicago.

That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m saying Toni Preckwinkle is going to turn into some version of Edward R. Vrdolyak; going out of his way to thwart anything that Harold Washington tried to accomplish as mayor.

BUT THIS IS partisan politics. Anybody who thinks they’re going to “get tough” with Toni by having a symbolic Lightfoot smack her around ought to accept that she’s just as capable of fighting back.

And not just with her first campaign advertising spot – the one that basically implies she’s a “corporate lawyer” with ties to Republican politicos.

Personally, I’m not sure what to think of Lightfoot. Other than the fact she has been a federal prosecutorial-type and one-time Police Board member, she doesn’t have a government background to run on.
Could we get partisan brawl reminiscent of 80s?

Which allows many of the people currently backing her (including many of the North Lakefront types) capable of defining her to their desires – not necessarily by who she really is.

WE COULD WIND up very surprised by what a Lightfoot mayorality turns into. Whereas I’m inclined to think that a Preckwinkle mayorality is exactly who she has been during her time as an alderman from Hyde Park and as a county board president.

I’m thinking these thoughts based on a recent poll I saw – the results of which say that Lightfoot is leading Preckwinkle by roughly a 2-1 voter margin. As in this election could turn into a butt-whuppin’ of the sorts that Daleys usually administered throughout the years to the people who had the nerve to challenge them.

But it is early in the process. We still have nearly a month for various factors to come into play for people to make up their minds – particularly since the election last week showed two-thirds of those who voted didn’t want either Lightfoot or Preckwinkle as mayor.

Meaning I’m not sure what we should be thinking in terms of which of these two is the front-runner.

THERE ARE THOSE who think that some establishment types, particularly those who wanted William Daley to be in the run-off election running will back Preckwinkle. Because, or so the thinking goes, that one of the people who’d be in the running to replace her as county president would be John Daley.
Could there be a Daley family win?

As in a Daley brother – and another son of the one-time mayor Richard J. – the last person who was both mayor and party chairman simultaneously. The real establishment types would have wanted a “Mayor” Daley, but may settle for having the county board presidency.

Of course, the thought of that happening may well scare some voters into picking Lightfoot just so that the Preckwinkle post doesn’t become vacant for another Daley to have.

Which could result in Chicago politics becoming a Lightfoot/Preckwinkle brawl between mayoral opponents for the next month, and between “Mayor Lori” and “Boss Toni” for the next four years!


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