Richard M. Daley's tenure as mayor is winding down.
But before he tosses his city keys to Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, Daley is hitting the road on a farewell tour of sorts.
On Thursday, Daley spoke to a group of about 500 at Misericordia in Chicago, with David Axelrod in tow.
His comments ran the gamut:
- Daley warned that government needs to change and that his successor will have a full plate."The next mayor will meet the challenges," Daley said. "He has to. He has to do a better job."
- Daley announced a new Chicago and China roadmap. He leaves next week for two weeks, on a seven-city tour, focusing on "tourism, investments in Chicago and the Midwest."
- Addressing audience questions, Daley said his greatest regret from his time in office is "guns," a pet issue that's grown more contentious in recent months after the United State's Supreme Court overturned a Chicago handgun ban.
- His proudest is "bringing people together in the '89 election," which swept him into office for a historic run.
- Though asked about the controversy, Daley never explicitly mentioned Wisconsin's unexpected vote on Wednesday that moved to abolish unions. But he discussed in general terms the duties of public servants. "We work for you, you don't work for us," he told the audience.
- When it came to pensions, he added, "I'm not entitled, it's not an entitlement. That's the problem in America."
- Daley said he's never worked a normal 9 to 5. "If I did," he said. "You owe me overtime!"
- Who's his favorite politician? He joked it's his brother Bill, who took Emanuel's spot as President Obama's chief of staff. Then he said it's his father, former long-time mayor Richard J. Daley.
- Does Daley see himself running for another public office? "No," he says, but adds, "Maybe I shouldn't say that so fast."