Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Man’s Opinions: What Led Daley to His Decision—Some Guesses. Needed: An Independent-Minded Candidate…and I Have One. More.

   Feast of St.Corbinan*
                                   Daley’s Decision.
        What led Richard M. Daley to his decision not to run again? The right answer  is probably contained in these guesses. Maybe a mixture of them. 
        1. Maggie Daley’s health. For the first time in a long time the media cameras have focused on her fixedly.  Before this we’ve gotten glimpses of her leaving the hospital and in a few seconds of viewing she looked virtually the same.  But standing by her husband at the rostrum, it’s clear she  has lost weight and…always charming…looks exactly like she is—a cancer patient whose disease has spread to her lungs and liver (although her doctor says it is under control). Standing at the rostrum as Daley made his announcement, she looked easily 10 years older than he…a change when the two have been photographed together earlier.    
        2. The Next Four Years Will be No Fun. Had Chicago gotten the 2016 Olympics, it would likely have given new zest and life to the Daley administration. Infrastructure would begin soon on clearing land and launching heavy construction which would have started immediately to provide jobs, contracts and lush consultancies…the lifeblood of politics… that would have more than repaid themselves in massive financial support.  Now, with the dream of the Olympics gone, the coming years are going to see cutbacks, likely tax hikes, angry labor organizations, hot movement politics where protagonists smell blood in the water.   Besides which Daley’s low support for reelection might well stir  serious opposition from either Right or Left.  
       3. The phenomenal anti-incumbent tenor of the country might trigger a spirited campaign here…more than a 68-year-old needs at this time of his life. . Chicago has always been an exception to whirlwind emotional “dump the incumbent” strategy but the quick reverses of polls throughout the country where incumbents are first judged far ahead and than in a twinkling of an eye can be defeated—even if massive funding is on their side—might well presage revolution.  If you add this to the two points above, you can see where a reasonable man might make his decision the way Daley has. 
       4.  A massive scandal is coming which might lead to legal action, embarrassment and humiliation. Chicago under Daley has never been free of large-scale scandal…Hired Trucks…patronage abuses…family contractual favoritism…where Daley confessed…strangely…he has no control.  Patrick Fitzgerald lurks in the wings.   
  1. A cabinet office might be in the offing. But that is hardly likely since
it looks like Obama will be history after 2012 and will have no cabinet office to give. 
  1. Bill Daley may have remonstrated to his brother that it’s his turn.
  He’s been in the wings and interested in running for office but the time has never been right but when you look at it he’s a natural for Chicago: successful businessman, former cabinet officer, more articulate and sophisticated.  A low probability but still…     
                                         The Successor?   
        Make no mistake about it, Rahm Emanuel is not necessarily a shoo-in successor. He’s far more accepted as a serious candidate by the national media odds-makers than with key elements of The Squid.  Granted he can raise big bucks but--. The brash, brutish, insensitive pushyness that has characterized him reflected itself when a few months ago he lofted trial balloons about his interest in the mayoralty was not exactly geared to further ingratiate him with the Daleys. 
         Besides, chief of staff of the Obama administration has not exactly covered him with glory.   His famous reliance on the F-word, his deposit of a dead fish on somebody’s bed, his “who me?’ answer to the water department payrollers who helped elect him to Congress the first time… and the thousand-and-one stories about this guy who is the walking embodiment of “What makes Sammy run?”...Cassius with the lean and hungry look…don’t contribute to a launching pad for a mayoral campaign.  But expect him to run, there’s very little doubt about that.  
        The more logical one to my mind would be another Irishman—Jim Houlihan.  The Irish have long had dibs on the mayoralty here and it’s a question whether they won’t try again.  Houlihan can raise money, too.  The job of Cook county assessor has always been…pardon the expression…golden for money-raising.  Houlihan has been thinking about this for quite a while and beyond Mike Madigan doesn’t have many enemies.  And being an enemy of Madigan with the legislature and Illinois in chaos isn’t the worst credential in the world.  And no, I think it’s clear that Mike’s daughter Lisa wants to be governor, not mayor.  
         If they’re looking for a brilliant public relations candidate, there’s Sheriff Tom Dart. He has the best image, the best TV profile of them all: lean, smart, witty , handsome, a law enforcement professional, good family man, young…and Irish. Dart will be reelected this November 2 over a Republican nonentity…I had to look it up, he’s Frederick Collins… and be ready to file for mayor the next month.  But Dart is not exactly the kind of guy who would throw caution to the winds and run an insurgency campaign.  You’d expect Dart to run if most of the Squid godfathers got together and urged him to run.  But on the other hand, what has he to lose?  He will have been reelected handily this November and his prospective run for the mayoralty will showcase his reelection by a landslide over Collins which otherwise would have been a ho-hum.  
         You say I’ve forgotten about the blacks and Hispanics. No, I’m sure everybody’s all-time black candidate will run—State Sen. and Rev. James Meeks of Chicago.  A black caucus favorite may also. Then, too, probably U. S. Rep. Luis (Little Looie) Guterriez and perhaps others…maybe Anita Alverez and a host of aldermen probably including Sandy Jackson.  The Irish will cheer and say the more minority candidates the better.    
              Then There’s an Independent Republican Possibility. 
            If it is true that Chicagoans are as sick of old-line pols that the nation is, they might…just might…be interested in electing a businessman-philanthropist as mayor and breaking the 78-year ownership of the mayoralty by Dems, a tenure that has far outlasted the USSR…which some say has been only slightly less authoritarian.   True the mayoralty election is non-partisan which just might make this candidate uniquely palatable in that he wouldn’t have to run on the Republican label, hateful to many of the unenlightened. 
            He is a multi-millionaire, a Republican by party ID but also identified with entrepreneurship and good government…and in fact is known to many Democrats because as a public-spirited civic booster he has served in many unpaid capacities. I’m thinking of Ron Gidwitz…who in this nonpartisan election could would truthfully be labeled an independent—free of the old ties.   Yes, he ran for governor as a Republican and didn’t do well but not because he had no ideas…but because he’s not a schmoozer and back scratcher, not craven. He’s an urban intellectual, laconic and a purveyor of straight talk. And I mean straight talk. But perhaps in this new era he may well be what the doctor ordered. He’s not tied to special interests and isn’t beholden to fat cat developers for campaign funds. 
        He is a policy wonk and a courageous one as well.  He lost for governor because he doesn’t have the pander-bear skills of a practiced pol.  Well, I’ll tell you: If he would run, the city would have a great option…one that could bring a problem-solver to City Hall…a guy with the guts of Chris Christie the phenomenal governor of New Jersey.  Generally a moderate Republican but one with the guts and independence to say no-no-no.  
          He and I don’t always see eye to eye on certain issues which he can use as a recommendation running for mayor of Chicago—and if it helps him I’ll even attack him! But I have known him for years…worked with him closely on numerous campaigns including Kirk Dillard’s run for governor…and have great respect for his integrity and brilliant brainpower.  Think of him serving maybe one term…think of him as a reformer.  Think of him working to restore jobs to Chicago.  
                                               Christine Legarde. 
           The results are in and let me change the description of the Economics Minister of France from gorgeous to “striking.”  What?  Still no takers?  I guess that means that the correspondent who wrote me about yesterday’s blog was right:  
          “Now I know you’re an octogenarian if you think that lady’s gorgeous.” 
          Ok, I give up.  
   *: Saint Corbinian [circa 725]. He was baptized in France as Waldegiso after his father but after his parent’s death, Corbinian’s mother, Corbiniana, named him “Corbinian” after herself.  He took to Catholicism at an early age, lived in Chatres on the road to Orleans as a hermit for 14 years and was ordained a priest..  He drew to himself a number of disciples and influenced by Saint Peter undertook with them to go to Rome.  He must have had some good contacts because in Rome he met with Pope Gregory II who urged him to use his talents to convert Bavaria.  To sweeten the deal, Gregory consecrated him a bishop. 
       Corbinian did as he was told; he began as an aide to the Frankish Duke of Bavaria.  There he erected a Benedictine monastery, near Freising and under direction of Saint Boniface became the first bishop of Freising. Filled with courage, Corbinian denounced an incestuous marriage by the Duke of Bavaria. The incensed wife of the Duke ordered Corbinian to be killed. Getting wind of the plot, Corbinian fled but in those perilous times, the Duke of Bavaria himself was killed and his wife carried off by assailants—so Corbinian was off the hook.  He was welcomed back by the Duke’s successor and continued his ministry at Freising where he died.  
       Corbinian’s symbol is that of a saddled bear. Purportedly after a bear killed his pack horse while the saint was on the way to Rome, Corbinian convinced the bear to undertake the role of a pack animal.  The bear obediently carried Corbinian’s luggage until they got to Rome where the saint dismissed him and the bear ran into a forest. Corbinian’s bear is used as the symbol of Freising in ecclesiastical heraldry.  It also appears on the coat of arms of Benedict XVI when as Joseph Ratzinger he was appointed archbishop of Freising-Munich in 1977.  He retained the bear on his revised coat of arms when he was elevated to Cardinal and it appears again on his papal coat of arms when he was elected Pope in 2005. 


  1. Question to Mr. Roeser: why do you call Tom Dart a PR candidate? The implication is that he has no substance, yet from what I've read (only today, admittedly) his record in the state legislature and as Cook County Sheriff suggests a candidate of considerable intelligence, energy and idealism. From what I understand he is anti-abortion. He has stood up to the banks on the question of due process in the case of evictions, not as a run of the mill publicity hound. In other words, he has a real record of effective reform in a city I'd pretty much given up on. Is it the appalling thought of a continuation of the Democratic regime that makes you reluctant to suggest that he might be a considerable improvement over what we have had in Chicago in my lifetime? Or is that as one man who owes his election to the Chicago machine, he is simply not the answer? While I may prefer Republican to Democratic voters, I don't see the Republican Party itself as any less corrupt, or any more reform-minded. Doubtless you would beg to differ on my last statement, but nonetheless I would be interested to read your take on Dart.

  2. Yes, I’m late on the Legarde plebiscite and I wouldn’t put your enthusiasm down to age, Tom. Yes, she’s a good-looking woman and like most French women has managed to retain her slim figure – which other nationalities seem incapable of doing. How do they do it – with all that good French food lying about? She certainly puts la troisième Mme. Sarkozy in the shade!

    As to gorgeous of a certain age, my vote would go to a Catherine Deneuve among French or to Sophia Loren among Italian women.

  3. Frederick Collins is quite a phenomenal Republican Nominee for Sheriff of Cook County. He is a conservative African American from Chicago, who has been an enormous sensation at various Tea Parties throughout Cook County on the campaign trail, in addition to many other venues where Frederick has spoken (including Republican gatherings). From my observations, Frederick has been receiving the loudest applause and vocal response from the Tea Party members in comparison to most of the other speakers that address the crowds at their events. Frederick is endowed with the special ability in being able to emotionally electrify audiences (including very large venues) and his deep bass voice marvelously accentuates his talking points. He is quite proficient in speaking without the use of notes or teleprompters (in contrast to the president---by the way, everything about Frederick is "in contrast" to the president).

    Frederick has been working tirelessly, practically every day of the week, in all the right sectors of Cook County. Importantly, he has been receiving great support among the African American community, including its voters, their leaders and their ministers. Many long time Democrats have been saying that not only will they support Frederick, but that they will be voting a straight Republican Ticket. Frederick can count on the Republicans throughout Cook County to vote a straight Republican ticket. It has just been mentioned by a commentator on Fox News that about 2/3 of the independents are leaning toward voting Republican. In addition, the highly energized Tea Parties throughout Cook County are overwhelmingly supporting Frederick. The wave of Republicanism would seem to track the current Rasmussen poll showing the commanding lead of 13% that Bill Brady is having over Pat Quinn, with Mr. Brady receiving 93% of the Repubican vote, while Mr. Quinn is only receiving 66% of the Democrat votes, so therefore, this should translate to help Frederick's chances for winning in November. You have the Republicans, Tea Party folks and Independents highly engergized to vote in November to help the Republicans win, but conversely the Democrats seem not so interested. In conclusion, this should help to be the right type of recipe for a November win for many Republicans across the board including Frederick (just as Obama helped many Democrats with his so-called "coattails" get elected in 2008).

    Frederick, is a highly decorated Chicago Police Officer (a third generation police officer of 17 years). Frederick's campaign website is

    In connection with the Conceal and Carry issue, it is Frederick's intention, once he is installed as sheriff, to create two gun range community centers in Chicago to help enable responsible citizens with the process to carry concealed handguns for their own protection. As you know, every state in our great country that had allowed its citizens to Conceal and Carry has secured a reduction in their violent crime rates.

    Currently, illegal immigration has been a hot-button issue on a national scale. There is a sizable number of illegal aliens currently housed in the Cook County Jail and Frederick plans to have such inmates processed through ICE once he becomes sheriff.

  4. As you may know, Mr. Dart has not been formally trained to be a law enforcement officer. He neither carries a gun, nor wears the uniform of a sheriff. We have been told that he is not well liked by his rank and file. He tries to capture headlines by arresting johns in a recent prostitution sting, going after puppy mills and refusing to carry out court ordered evictions.

    Mr. Dart was quoted in the press a month or so ago that he wasn't interested in running for mayor unless Mayor Daley wasn't going to run. Well, now that the mayor has recently announced he will not run for re-election, then obviously he is interested in running for mayor (in contrast to his assertion now that he is exploring that issue at this time). Folks would have to ask themselves why vote for Mr. Dart to be sheriff, if he will be running for mayor three months after the November race? What would be the use of having a man be sheriff for only a few months?