Chicago magazine is out with its list of the 100 most powerful Chicagoans, and we think they must have been reading Ward Room, because most of the politicians we follow made the list (the exceptions – Jesse Jackson Jr., Joe Walsh and Mark Kirk – were either out of action or were put out of action this year). Here’s where Chicago ranked Ward Room’s main characters.
1. Rahm Emanuel: “The ultimate political shark in a town full of big fish, the mayor lives by the axiom “Move forward or die.” Notoriously impatient, with a killer competitive streak, Rahm devours – or at least attempts to chew up – anybody standing in his way.”
2. Michael Madigan: “Want to pass a bill? Go see Madigan. Want to get elected? Better talk to Mike. Arguably as powerful as the mayor, Madigan redrew the legislative map and promptly added seven seats to his majority.”
8. Toni Preckwinkle: “The reformer has managed to keep her sterling reputation in a town full of tarnished politicos and get stuff done: slashing patronage, halving the county’s $487 million budget her first year, and trimming a bloated health budget.”
20. Lisa Madigan: “Madigan’s juice comes from her personal popularity and consumer-friendly lawsuits targeting predatory banks and powerful lenders. She is said to be gunning for the governor’s job – and already has $3.6 million banked, three times as much as Pat Quinn.”
22. Ed Burke: “His influence runs wide and deep: ruling the City Council’s finance committee like a feudal lord, chairing the Democratic panel that slates judicial candidates, knowing Robert’s Rules of Order better than anyone else.”
52. Richard M. Daley: “Professor, rainmaker, investor, adviser to the Russian government: not bad for the former mayor, who is carving out a new power base as an expert on China and Russia.”
70. Pat Quinn: “He made the list this year!”
This post was published Feb. 12, 2013.