Daley Won’t Seek Re-Election in Chicago

Mayor Richard M. Daley stunned the political establishment in Chicago this afternoon when he announced he would not be running for re-election in 2011. He has held the office since 1989 when he won a special election to replace Mayor Harold Washington.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Daley said “it just feels right” regarding his decision to not seek re-election. On December 26th, he will eclipse his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, as the longest serving mayor of Chicago. The Sun-Times quotes his brother, William (Bill) Daley, on what is behind the decision:

“It’s not Maggie’s health or [the city’s] financial problems, unemployment or crime. Blaming this decision on the re-election campaign or fear he wasn’t gonna win is silly also. All of the things you go to to find a reason, there’s bits of truth in all of them. It’s not one thing. It’s an accumulation of 21 years and looking, not just at an election, but the next four years in one’s life. He’s healthy. He’s got time to do other things — or nothing.”

However, a poll commissioned by the Chicago Tribune conducted earlier this summer found:

The poll found only 37 percent of city voters approve of the job Daley is doing as mayor, compared with 47 percent who disapprove. Moreover, a record-low 31 percent said they want to see Daley re-elected, compared with 53 percent who don’t want him to win another term.

Now that Daley isn’t going to run for re-election, politicians who have previously suppressed their desire for the office are now thinking of running. Some of the names mentioned include Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., a number of sitting aldermen, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, and Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan.

The announcement leads to two important questions. First, will the coalition that kept Daley in office and the Chicago Democratic Machine running start to fight amongst themselves? And, second, what will this mean for gun rights in Chicago and the State of Illinois?

I think the answer to the first question is absolutely yes. Alderman Ed Smith, considered the dean of the African-American alderman on City Council, guarantees that there will be an African-American candidate for mayor.

“If we can raise the money, there’s gonna be a [black] candidate. We’re not short on people who can run this town and who would get in the race.

Probably the best analogy would be to Yugoslavia upon the death of Marshall Tito. Without a leader that could hold a coalition of antagoinistic factions together, the factions began to fight for power and control and the place fell apart. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the same in Chicago.

As to gun rights, none of the potential candidates is going to be good for our side. However, they could be “less bad” than Mayor Daley. For example, Rahm “Never let a crisis go to waste” Emanual has described being Mayor of Chicago as his dream job. He saw what the impact of gun control did for the Clinton administration in 1994. When he was head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he recruited many “Blue Dog” Democrats who were pro-gun. I’m not saying he’d be pro-gun but might be less anti-gun than the present regime.

Sheriff Tom Dart came out against concealed carry in Illinois last year when SB 1976 was proposed. Obviously, Jesse Jackson, Jr. would not be good for gun rights but he may be damaged goods due to Rod Blagojevich.

I’d love to hear the comments from people who live in the Chicago area who might have a better feel for potential candidates and where they stand on gun rights.

10 thoughts on “Daley Won’t Seek Re-Election in Chicago”

  1. I plan on voting twice and writing in Roland Burris both times regardless of whether he runs or not, and I don’t even live in the city…..

  2. I hope that Obama runs…he’s obviously got the managerial skills that Chicago can use.

    Plus, he’s never actually finished a job before so quitting the presidency will be status-quo.

  3. @Flighterdoc,

    I was thinking that myself. However, now that he is “King of the World” would he really want to go back to Chicago and have to work?

  4. Rahm has decided he is working for a one-term president and realizes he needs his ‘dream job’ sooner rather than later. Mr. Daley was an inconvenience that has now been resolved.

    I can’t remember where, but this all come up months ago, about Rahm wanting to go to Chicago. I think it was part of the Blago kefuffle, before he got caught — if you chased the political favors around enought, you realized Daley would move on to something else and Rahm would get to go back to Chicago as mayor.

  5. The impact of Daley’s ducking out on gun rights likely won’t be much in either direction. The legislature is effectively under the absolute control of Mike Madigan, Speaker of the House.
    Madigan is an implacable foe of gun rights and he’s in no danger.
    Even the governor’s imminent departure in favor of the very pro-gun Bill Brady may not be enough by itself to bring about gun rights reform. Senate President John Cullerton is every bit as anti-gun as anyone.
    Don’t forget also that the Joyce Foundation, the epicenter of anti-gun forces’ funding, is still here in Chicago and still determined to get us into the One World thing.
    Things may improve, but when it comes to gun rights, Daley isn’t the whole problem by himself. He has millions of noisy allies.

  6. Given that Chicago, not IL, is the defendant in the latest round of suits, I have to wonder whether the departure of Daley Jr. will have an effect

  7. The poll found only 37 percent of city voters approve of the job Daley is doing as mayor, compared with 47 percent who disapprove. Moreover, a record-low 31 percent said they want to see Daley re-elected, compared with 53 percent who don’t want him to win another term.

    Yeah, but did the pollsters canvas the cemeteries? That’s where the real voting power is in Chicago, ya know?

  8. I actually LIVE in Chicago and I must be honest – the odds that the current gun laws will be relaxed or even repealed for saner ones is a pipe dream at best.

    Regardless of who comes in to run the city, they’ll likely campaign on being anti-crime (which is the biggest joke of all) and thereby be anti-gun.

    I would be the happiest person in the city if I had the chance to vote for a mayor who would enact laws that uphold ALL constitutional amendments. We need someone, anyone, who has the wherewithal to stand up for the second amendment. One major problem is that all those folks moved to the suburbs.

  9. Cooper, a mayoral candidate, posted on the illinoiscarry.com forum saying he supported Right To Carry.

    He referred people to his facebook page for corroboration and to see his public expression of these views. (i haven’t checked it, since I don’t use facebook)

    Anyone else have further info?

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