Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Of Mistletoe, Buttocks and Bluster

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    NEWSLETTERS

    I wish Mayor Daley would tell someone to kiss his ass.

    Mayoral brother Michael Daley’s law firm was just hired to negotiate with the city on behalf of Bill Davies, the man redeveloping the old Main Post Office on Harrison Street. Some cynics, who know too much about Chicago politics, think Michael Daley got the job because he grew up with the mayor.

    You know what Richard J. Daley would have said about that? The same thing he said in 1971, when Mike and Rich were getting lucrative court appointments from a Circuit Court judge, and the city was throwing insurance business to a company that had just hired a young man named John Daley.

    “If I can’t help my sons then they can kiss my ass!” the Old Man thundered to a meeting of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee. “I make no apologies to anyone. There are many men in this room whose fathers helped them, and they went on to become fine public servants. If a man can’t put his arms around his sons and help them, then what’s the world coming to?”

    Other times, Daley expressed himself less crudely, telling his critics, “There’s a mistletoe hangin’ from my coattail.”

    Richard M. Daley is just as inarticulate as his father, but he’s rarely as colorful. Perhaps he doesn’t feel the need to explain himself. He didn’t when his nephew, Robert Vanecko, was a partner in a real estate deal that received $68 million from city-connected pension funds.

    If there’s one eternal truism in Chicago, it’s that Daleys will always get rich off being Daleys. But it’s too bad we can’t get good quotes out of it anymore. At the next mayoral press conference, I want to hear a reporter ask about the post office deal. And I want to hear the mayor say, “If a man can’t put his arms around his brother and help him, then what’s the world coming to?”

    Then I want him to tell the reporter to kiss his ass.