Friday, March 22, 2019

Politics creates strange bedfellows

There are no permanent enemies in electoral politics. Or maybe the reality is there are no permanent friends – just people you’re allied with for the time being.
PRECKWINKLE: Got two endorsements

Take the mayoral campaign of Toni Preckwinkle – whom some are determined to believe is desperately clinging to life and is on the verge of political oblivion.

YET EVEN PRECKWINKLE is still capable of finding people willing to say they support her political aspirations. And not just the labor unions whom Toni had been hoping all along would be the life’s blood of her campaign for the right to work on the City Hall side of the municipal building, rather than the County Board side.

Preckwinkle picked up a pair of people who, at one time, might have been a major political coup. But now?

We’re talking about the endorsements she got from one-time state legislator and county board President Todd Stroger and from the rap music star Chance.

As in the guy who was the pulse that was the only reason anybody took seriously the mayoral aspirations of Amara Enyia. The one who kicked in the campaign cash that enabled her to actually have a campaign.

THE GUY WHOM some thought might inspire young black Chicagoans to care about this election cycle enough that perhaps Amara could have a chance of winning something.
STROGER: Sympathizing w/ Toni? Nah!

But as it turned out, Chance’s support was only good enough to get Enyia a 7 percent share of the vote in the Feb. 26 election – not even close to qualifying for one of the spots in the current run-off election.

So now, Chance has become a part of the Preckwinkle bandwagon. Which doesn’t surprise many political observers. It was always noted that one of the chairmen of the Preckwinkle campaign is Ken Bennett – a.k.a., Chance’s father.

All it means is that Chance’s mayoral preference went down the tubes, and his father convinced him to remain involved ever-so-slightly. But not as much as he was for Enyia.

BECAUSE IT SHOULD be noted that Chance’s endorsement does not come along with any campaign cash. He’s not giving Toni any money to get through the remaining days of this election cycle.
CHANCE: Won't open his wallet

I don’t know if it’s true, but there were always those predicting that Chance would wind up being swayed over to Camp Preckwinkle. Although those pundits were usually speculating a scenario in which this would unify African-American voter support for Toni against someone like William Daley.

Nobody figured this would be a Lightfoot/Preckwinkle brawl!

But this move strikes many as being more predictable than the one in which Stroger put aside his own animosities toward Preckwinkle to say he supports her. Because there are those of us who remember the 2010 election cycle in which Toni turned Todd into the ultimate example of a political hack who was unfit for office when she beat him for the county board president post he inherited when his father, John, had to step down.

COULD IT BE that Todd Stroger somehow sympathizes with the way Toni Preckwinkle’s reputation is being so thoroughly trashed by those Lightfoot backers eager to engage in demonization? Not likely.
LIGHTFOOT: Not likely losing sleep

It’s more likely that Stroger is being truthful when he says he hopes that a “Mayor Preckwinkle” will give him the time of day and be willing to listen to his concerns for things he’d like to see achieved across the city’s South Side. While a “Mayor Lightfoot,” he suspects, would be likely to turn her old federal prosecutorial instincts on him to try to find a way to get him indicted for something.

I’m not saying for sure that will happen. A part of me doesn’t think Stroger was ever ambitious enough to do something corrupt.

But it would be intriguing to see if current circumstances are such that Toni and “the Toddler” are now political allies – or will be for as long as the two see some mutual benefit to tolerating each other’s existence.


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